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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Doha – Mirza al-Khuaildi

Tehran: Absence of US Decision the Only Obstacle in Vienna

Kamal Kharazi and Robert Malley participate in separate sessions of the Doha Forum, EPA

Iran informed the European mediator at the Vienna talks that the “political decision” in Washington was the “last obstacle” to reaching an agreement, calling for US “realism.”

However, US Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley expressed doubts about reaching an agreement, stressing that sanctions will be kept on Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. Malley revealed that no decision has been reached on removing the Iranian military apparatus from the list of terrorist organizations.

Enrique Mora, deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service and coordinator for nuclear talks, had met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran.

In a short meeting, Amir-Abdollahian told Mora that the main obstacle now facing the Vienna talks is the absence of a US decision.

“The other parties, especially the US government, should follow a realistic approach to resolving the remaining issue,” the minister told Mora, according to Fars News Agency.

Other officials who discussed the Vienna talks with Mora include the Iranian top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani.

Mora, who coordinates talks between Iran and the US, arrived in Tehran late Saturday and on Sunday met Iran's chief negotiator Ali Bagheri, state news agency IRNA reported.

“Bagheri stressed that an agreement can be reached if the American side is realistic,” it added.

Mora is expected to meet other officials, according to IRNA.

“Working on closing the remaining gaps in the Vienna talks on the JCPOA,” Mora tweeted ahead of his trip. “We must conclude this negotiation. Much is at stake.”

His visit comes as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday saw a renewed accord within “days.”

“We are very close but there are still some issues pending,” Borrell told reporters on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in Qatar.

“I cannot tell you when or how, but it is a matter of days.”

Parties have signaled for weeks that the negotiations are close to an agreement, but that “political decisions” are required from Tehran and Washington.

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