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European diplomats hail progress in Iran nuclear deal talks

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By Euronews with AP
Iran's flag waves outside the International Atomic Energy Agency HQ in Vienna
Iran's flag waves outside the International Atomic Energy Agency HQ in Vienna   -   Copyright  Florian Schroetter/AP
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European diplomats have hailed progress in the latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, expressing hope an agreement could soon be reached for the country to comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

They also hope the US will rejoin the accord negotiated by Barack Obama’s administration, which his successor Donald Trump quit in 2018.

Iran has been attempting to pressure the new Biden administration into lifting crippling sanctions imposed by Trump, by breaking the terms of the deal.

It has been limiting inspections from nuclear inspectors and announcing further enrichment of uranium beyond the agreed limits.

Enrique Mora, the European Union official who chaired Wednesday's talks in Vienna, said delegations from Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain, Iran and the US would return home to brief their governments and then meet again in the Austrian capital next week.

“I’m sure that the next round will be the one in which we will finally get the deal," Mora told reporters after the meeting.

“There are a few political issues (and) there are a number of technical issues, again rather complex," he added. "But I can say that they are fewer than they were one week ago. So we are (on) a good track.”

“I think every capital has to give a green light to their respective delegations to get the agreement, and I think that will be the case next week,” said Mora.

Other European diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorised to be quoted by name, described the talks in Vienna as “intense and productive,” AP reports, but cautioned that they would become more difficult as delegates tackle harder issues.

While progress had been made and important aspects of a future deal had been hammered out, the diplomats said that tough decisions lay ahead and nothing would be agreed until everything was agreed.

Asked about the United Nations’ atomic watchdog this week stating that it hasn’t been able to access data important to monitoring Iran’s nuclear programme since late February, Mora said delegations had “taken note” of the report.