By Syed Zafar Mehdi
TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – Talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna have entered a new phase, with parties now discussing key demands of Tehran, including the removal of US sanctions.
A news agency affiliated with Iran's top security body on Tuesday said the verification of the lifting of sanctions as well as guarantees that Washington will not unilaterally abandon the nuclear deal again have been accepted by other parties, including the US, as "two important demands" of Iran in the Vienna talks.
The eighth round of marathon talks between Iran and the P4+1 (Russia, China, France, UK and Germany) resumed in the Austrian capital on Monday after a 10-day break.
The fresh round of talks is centered on Iran's key demand of lifting the sanctions imposed by the former US administration following its unilateral withdrawal from the landmark 2015 deal in May 2018.
Nour News, in its report, noted that while the demands have been accepted by other parties, the discussion now is about "how to implement them".
"The point is that everyone (now) agrees that the responsibility for the outcome of the negotiations (in Vienna) lies with the US, and that its stance on sanctions (removal) will determine the outcome," the report said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Tuesday expressed optimism about the ongoing talks in Vienna, which he said were moving “in good direction”, while adding that a deal was possible if other parties show “goodwill” and “seriousness.”
On Monday, he had stressed that Iran's demands for guarantees that the US will not unilaterally pull out of the deal again and verification of the "effective" lifting of sanctions would be the focus on Iran's team in the new round.
The top diplomat said the draft of the previous six rounds was set aside and a new "joint document" was adopted in the eighth round of talks that is likely to continue till Thursday.
Meanwhile, sources told Anadolu Agency that the parties to the deal were engaged in "serious and thorough deliberations" since Tuesday morning to work out mechanisms that would address concerns of both sides, including the lifting of US sanctions and Iran's nuclear enrichment program.
While the European parties have called for speedy outcomes of the talks, sources said Iran's team is against setting any "deadlines."
Iran has significantly ramped up its nuclear activities since May 2019, enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges up to 60 percent purity, sparking international concerns.
However, the chief of Iran's nuclear agency, Mohammad Eslami, on Monday allayed fears, saying that Tehran will not exceed the current level of enrichment even if the Vienna talks fail.