06/04/2021, 12.35
IRAN - USA
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Cautious optimism for possible deal on Iranian nuclear program

The fifth round of indirect negotiations between the parties has ended. A sixth is expected to begin next June 10th. US spokesman "does not rule out"  an agreement maybe as early as next week, but mutual "trust" is needed. Iranian negotiator: differences not insurmountable.

Vienna (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The climate of cautious optimism around indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States is confirmed, for a full return to the nuclear agreement (Jcpoa) ​​signed in 2015 and disavowed three years later by the then US president Donald Trump.

At the close of the fifth round of indirect talks, US State Department spokesman Ned Price announces that "a sixth " will be heldnext week, and "more" are on the horizon.

The European Union envoy coordinating the talks is convinced that the finalization of an agreement will take place in the next round of negotiations, however, other diplomats have said that the most difficult decisions and the thorniest knots still remain to be resolved. Price has said various obstacles remain and is showing greater caution than the EU official. However, the same spokesman for the US Department "does not rule out" the possibility that an agreement may come shortly.

Recently, Tehran progressively violated the terms of the pact by easing restrictions on nuclear activities. The first steps in this direction date back to 2019, in response to the May 2018 withdrawal by the then US President Donald Trump from the JCPOA and the reintroduction of the toughest sanctions in history, causing a collapse of the Iranian economy.

The temporary agreement will expire on June 24, a few days before the presidential elections to close the era of moderate Hassan Rouhani (who will not be able to stand as a candidate having finished his second term) and lead a conservative to power. A change destined to also affect the timing, methods and possible results of the ongoing nuclear talks.

Diplomatic sources report that the talks, which began in April and the fifth meeting, should resume next June 10 and Price himself said he expects "a sixth round".

“I think - he said - there's just about every expectation that there will be subsequent rounds beyond that," Price told reporters. He said these obstacles included the fact that the talks are indirect - Iran refuses direct discussions with the United States - and the issues complex. "There is no lack of distrust between and among Iran and the other partners and allies with whom we're working on this," he concluded.

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