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Talks on Iran Nuclear Program Resume in Vienna
The Coburg Palais, the venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting, is pictured in Vienna on Nov. 29, 2021. (Vladimir Simicek/AFP via Getty Images)

Talks on Iran Nuclear Program Resume in Vienna

Negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers got underway on Monday in Vienna after a hiatus of more than five months. Representatives of the original signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – minus the United States, which unilaterally exited the deal in 2018 under former President Donald Trump – are meeting at the Palais Coburg hotel where the JCPOA was signed six years ago, in an attempt to bring Iran back into compliance with the deal and to win renewed American support for it. President Joe Biden’s special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, is participating indirectly in the talks, through diplomatic go-betweens. President Biden has made it clear that he wants to end US sanctions and bring his government back into the deal, viewing it as the best way to ensure that Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons. After President Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA and slapped sanctions back onto the country, Tehran responded by violating a number of key terms of the deal, for example stockpiling and enriching uranium well beyond the specified limits. The Islamic Republic has also blocked International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors from gaining full access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. In a video address to the negotiators on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran “deserves no rewards, no bargain deals and no sanctions relief in return for their brutality,” and advised the negotiators: “Do not give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail.”

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