Vienna talks have opened ‘new chapter’: Rouhani

Published April 8, 2021
In this file photo, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference in Islamabad. —Reuters/File
In this file photo, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference in Islamabad. —Reuters/File

TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that talks in Vienna on rescuing a troubled 2015 nuclear deal had opened a “new chapter”.

An Iranian delegation met on Tuesday representatives of the remaining parties to the agreement to discuss how to bring Washington back into it and end crippling US sanctions and Iranian countermeasures.

US President Joe Biden has said he is ready to reverse the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw from the agreement and re-impose unilateral sanctions. But differences remain over the mechanics of the move as Tehran has since responded by suspending compliance with some of its own obligations under the deal.

The United States was not present at Tuesday’s discussions because Iran has refused to meet the US delegation so long as its sanctions remain in place.

Instead, the European Union acted as an intermediary, but all sides gave a positive assessment of the opening talks.

“A new chapter has just been opened yesterday,” Rouhani told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“If (Washington) shows it is honest and sincere, that’s all we ask... I think we’ll be able to negotiate in a short time, if necessary, with the (other parties to the deal).”

The talks are to resume in Vienna on Friday, a diplomat familiar with the discussions said.

The US delegation is to gather in a different hotel, with EU negotiators acting as go-betweens.

At the same time, two groups of experts — on lifting sanctions and nuclear issues — are working “to identify concrete measures to be taken by Washington and Tehran” to restore the deal, Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov said.

Washington gave an upbeat assessment of the opening session.

“We do see this as a constructive and certainly welcome step,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Policy rate hike
Updated 27 Nov, 2022

Policy rate hike

The decision to hike the policy rate by 100bps is a step in the right direction, even if intended to appease the IMF.
Vawda’s reprieve
27 Nov, 2022

Vawda’s reprieve

FAISAL Vawda should be relieved. After years of running from a reckoning for submitting a false declaration in his...
Gujarat’s ghosts
27 Nov, 2022

Gujarat’s ghosts

TWO decades have passed since the bloody Gujarat riots, one of the worst spasms of anti-Muslim violence witnessed in...
March in Pindi
Updated 26 Nov, 2022

March in Pindi

WITH the chief’s appointment out of the way and the army intent on staying out of politics, the fight is now down...
Tough IMF position
26 Nov, 2022

Tough IMF position

THE IMF has made it clear that Pakistan’s “timely finalisation of the [flood] recovery plan” — the key ...
The youth vote
26 Nov, 2022

The youth vote

PAKISTAN is an overwhelmingly young nation, with about 64pc of the population under 30. Yet our political system has...