Iran has agreed to resume nuclear negotiations after a five-month hiatus. The European Union, which is coordinating the talks, announced all participants will meet for a seventh round of negotiations in Vienna on November 29. They will discuss the mutual return by the United States and Iran to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
The United States and its European allies in the P5+1 recently urged Iran “to seize [the] opportunity and return to a good-faith effort to conclude our negotiations as a matter of urgency.” In a joint statement, President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “That is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation, which is not in any country’s interest.”
The four leaders noted “with grave and growing concern” that Iran has accelerated the pace of its provocative nuclear steps, including the production of highly enriched uranium and enriched uranium metal, and that Iran has decreased cooperation and transparency with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The four pledged “to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon.”
At a press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged Iran’s willingness to return to negotiations. “We believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June when the 6th round concluded,” he said. “But we’ve also been clear, including as this pause has dragged on for some time, that this window of opportunity will not be open forever…especially if Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps.
“We certainly hope that when the Iranian delegation returns to Vienna later this month,” declared Spokesperson Price, “they do so ready to negotiate, they do so ready to negotiate quickly, and in good faith, as well.”