VIENNA, January 5. /TASS/. Intensive informal consultations are under way in Vienna within the framework of talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, said Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov, who heads the Russian delegation at the talks.
"The eighth round of Vienna talks continues. Intensive informal consultations in various formats are under way. The work to lift [US] sanctions [on Iran], on nuclear issues and sequence of steps to restore JCPOA continues," he said.
When asked whether any progress has been made, the head of the Russian delegation replied that it is already visible. "The main stumbling blocks are becoming clearer," he added.
On January 4, the Russian diplomat held three separate working meetings in Vienna. He met with Iran’s chief negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani to discuss the main issues that are yet to be settled in the course of the negotiations. Ulyanov also discussed the current situation and possible further steps with European Union coordinator Enrique Mora and US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley.
The eighth round of talks kicked off in Vienna on December 27. The negotiations seek to restore the JCPOA in its original form and bring the US back into the agreement. Following a JCPOA Joint Commission meeting between Iran and the five world powers (Russia, the UK, Germany, China and France) on December 27, 2021, the parties agreed to accelerate the process of drafting the agreement in the working groups. This round is expected to be the last, as the parties intend to complete the negotiations by February 2022.