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World powers and Iran will gather in Vienna on Monday to try to salvage their 2015 nuclear deal, but with Tehran sticking to its tough stance and increasingly Western powers frustrated, hopes for progress seem slim.

According to Reuters, diplomats say the time is running out to revive the pact, which then-US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, angering Iran and intimidating the other powers involved – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

Six rounds of indirect talks were held between April and June. The new round begins after a hiatus caused by the election of a new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Tehran’s new negotiating team has made demands that U.S and European diplomats consider unrealistic, Western diplomats claimed.

According to Reuters, Iran has moved forward with its uranium enrichment program, and the IAEA says its inspectors have been treated roughly and denied access to reinstall surveillance cameras in a country it considers essential to reviving the deal.

“If Iran thinks it can use this time to build more leverage and then come back and say they want something better, it just won’t work. We and our partners will not do it,” the envoy said.

He warned that Washington would be ready to increase pressure on Tehran if talks fail.

Iranian officials have insisted on Monday that their focus is simply on lifting sanctions, not nuclear issues. Emphasizing this, his 40-member delegation consists mainly of economic officials.

“To ensure that any future deal is iron-clad, the West must pay a price for failing to maintain its share of the bargain. As in any business, a deal is a deal and breaking it has consequences,” Ali Bagheri Kani said.

“The principle of ‘mutual consent’ cannot form a proper basis for negotiations as it was the US government that unilaterally withdrew from the agreement.”

Diplomats have said Washington has suggested negotiating an interim agreement open with Tehran as long as no permanent agreement is reached.

Failure to reach an agreement could also provoke a backlash from Israel, which has said military options will be on the table.

“The talks cannot last forever. There is a clear need to speed up the process,” Moscow envoy Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter.


Vienna talks nuclear talks Ebrahim Raisi 2015 nuclear deal lifting sanctions JCPOA commitment
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