Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, attends a meeting with the diplomatic advisor to the French president in the Iranian capital Tehran, on July 10, 2019. (ATTA KENARE / AFP)
TEHRAN/VIENNA - Iran's top security official on Monday urged all parties involved in nuclear talks in Austria's capital Vienna to put forward "initiatives" to accelerate the conclusion of the nuke deal.
"Prospect of a deal in Vienna talks remains unclear due to Washington's delay in making a political decision," Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani tweeted.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said that the priority of Iranian negotiators is to resolve the remaining issues that are considered to have crossed the red line of the country
Shamkhani said that the priority of Iranian negotiators is to resolve the remaining issues that are considered to have crossed the red line of the country.
"Rapid access to a strong deal requires new initiatives from all parties," he noted.
Meanwhile, political decisions need to be made to end the Vienna talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, said Enrique Mora, deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service.
"It is time, in the next few days, for political decisions to end the Vienna talks. The rest is noise," Mora said on Twitter.
Mora is acting as the European Union's coordinator in the negotiations in Vienna. His comments came as Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in Tehran on Monday that few differences remain between Iran and the West.
"If the US approach is reasonable, the quick agreement is available," Khatibzadeh said. However, he emphasized that Iran will never accept or adhere to a deadline for negotiations.
"There are no longer 'expert level talks'. Nor 'formal meetings'," Mora said, refuting reports of further such meetings.
Reports from Vienna suggest that the negotiators are "close" to an agreement with a few key issues remaining which require "political decisions" of the parties.
Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, are currently involved in negotiations in Vienna seeking ways to settle disputes about the revival of the JCPOA.
In 2015, Iran signed the landmark nuclear accord, with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States, plus Germany) and the EU.
However, former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the pact in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. This prompted Iran to drop some of its nuclear commitments and advance its previously halted nuclear programs.
Since April 2021, Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties have held eight rounds of marathon talks in Vienna to revive the deal.