US warns against high expectations for Vienna n-talks

Washington, April 9 (IANS) The US State Department has warned against high expectations for Vienna talks as parties of the Iran nuclear deal will reconvene on Friday.

“These talks have been described as constructive, as businesslike, as accomplishing what they set out to do and that is true,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters at a daily briefing.

“We would also, however, hasten to not allow expectations to outpace where we are. After all, we have said this will be hard.

“It will be hard because these are indirect engagements… It will be hard because the subject at hand is very technical, it’s very complex,” he said.

The European Union (EU) said on Thursday that the Joint Commission of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will reconvene in Vienna on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Negotiators attending the Vienna talks earlier this week formed two working groups to explore what sanctions Washington would need to remove to return to the deal and what steps Tehran would need to take to return to full compliance with the deal.

The State Department noted recently that the US is prepared to lift those sanctions that are inconsistent with the nuclear deal.

“We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” Price said on Wednesday.

“I am not in a position here to give you chapter and verse on what those might be.”

The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, the UK, Russia, France, China, plus Germany) together with the EU.

Tehran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear weapons program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 and tightened sanctions on Iran under the former Donald Trump administration.

In response, Iran suspended the implementation of parts of its obligations under the deal.