Iran nuclear deal talks to resume in Vienna

Diplomats hopeful of latest round of negotiations being the last

Talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal Iran agreed to with world powers will resume on Saturday, with diplomats hopeful it will be the final round of negotiations.

Slow but steady progress has been made by diplomats after five rounds of talks that seek a US return to the accord and Iranian compliance.

Officials from the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK were present, as well as representatives from Tehran and Washington – although they have not met face to face.

“Will it be the final round? Nobody knows but all negotiators hope so,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s representative.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister and envoy to the talks, Abbas Araghchi, said: "The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement.”

Earlier this week, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said "a lot of progress" was made.

But she said “until the last detail is nailed down, and I mean nailed down, we will not know if we have an agreement”.

Next Friday, Iran will hold presidential elections to find the successor to incumbent Hassan Rouhani.

In 2018, the-then US president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal and re-imposed heavy economic sanctions on Iran.

In response, Tehran has repeatedly breached the terms of accord and says it will only return to compliance once the sanctions are lifted.

Mr Trump’s successor Joe Biden says he is open to a return to the deal but on the condition that Iran first returns to compliance.