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US Secretary of State views JCPOA as example of Russian-US security cooperation

According to Antony Blinken, the talks with Tehran on the return to compliance with the JCPOA "have reached a decisive moment"

GENEVA, January 21. /TASS/. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an example of cooperation between Russia and the US on security issues, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said following the talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

"I should mention as well that the foreign minister and I had an opportunity to discuss Iran, an example of how the US and Russia can work together on security issues of shared concern," the US diplomat noted.

According to Blinken, the talks with Tehran on the return to compliance with the JCPOA "have reached a decisive moment." "If a deal is not reached in the next few weeks, Iran’s ongoing nuclear advances will make it impossible to return to the JCPOA. But right now, there is still a window, a brief one, to bring those talks to successful conclusion and address the remaining concerns of all sides," the Secretary of State pointed out.

The US diplomat also noted that "Russia shared our sense of urgency" to restore the JCPOA in the coming weeks. "We hope that Russia will use the influence that it has and relationship that it has with Iran to impress upon Iran that sense of urgency," Blinken said. According to the State Department’s head, "if we are unable to do that because Iran refuses to undertake the obligations that are necessary", the US "will pursue a different path in dealing with a danger posed by Iran’s renewed nuclear program." However, the diplomat did not specify the measures Washington was ready to take.

On January 4, Russian Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov told TASS that intensive informal talks were underway as part of the eighth round of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear deal, during which some progress was being observed. The efforts on lifting the US sanctions against Iran, nuclear issues and the sequence of steps to revive the JCPOA are in progress, the Russian envoy mentioned.

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.