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Iran, World Powers Meet In Vienna Over Nuclear Deal

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (file photo)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (file photo)

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has met with representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China to discuss how to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

"The atmosphere was constructive. Discussions were good. I cannot say that we resolved everything. I can say there are lots of commitments," Araqchi told Reuters following the July 28 meeting in Vienna with the remaining parties to the nuclear agreement.

The meeting was called in response to an escalation in tensions between Iran, the United States, and its allies that included confrontations at sea and Tehran's breaches of the accord, which initially included the United States.

Under the pact, Tehran promised to greatly limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, but U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

France, Germany, and Britain have tried to salvage the deal and proposed a complicated financial barter system designed to provide some economic relief to Tehran.

However, Iranian officials have complained that the remaining parties to the deal failed to mitigate the effects of the U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and banking industries.

Iran earlier this month surpassed the uranium stockpile and enrichment limits set out in the 2015 accord, saying it no longer feels bound by the pact.

Russia’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted that the Vienna talks "made it possible to discuss at length the situation around the implementation of this agreement."

"It is obvious that US sanctions negatively affect implementation of the 'nuclear deal.' However all participants are fully committed to it," Ulyanov wrote.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters