The sudden suspension of the Vienna talks came as participants of the negotiations revealed in recent days they were closing in on an agreement despite a few outstanding issues.
On Friday, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said that a pause is needed in talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), citing "external factors."
"I will, with my team, continue to be in touch with all JCPOA participants and the U.S. to overcome the current situation and to close the agreement," he tweeted, while noting that a final text of an agreement is "essentially ready and on the table." Borrell did not give further details on when the negotiations will be reconvened.
Enrique Mora, the European Union (EU) coordinator in the Vienna talks, said that the negotiators are "almost there" on reaching a deal and "have a text in which almost everything is done." The sudden suspension of the talks came as participants of the negotiations revealed in recent days they were closing in on an agreement despite a few outstanding issues.
On Thursday, U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price said that his country was "close to a possible deal" that could even be reached in the coming days. He added that "it's really down to a very small number of outstanding issues," but they are "among the most difficult ones."
Addressing US failed policy of inhumane sanctions; #ViennaTalks are aimed at making US eligible to re-join 2015 agreement. That's why the main responsible for prolongation or sophistication of the TALKS is #US.— Abbas Bagherpour (@BagherpourAbbas) March 11, 2022
To achieve result,a joint effort is required. #Iran is already ready. pic.twitter.com/V0688FQyym
However, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Thursday slammed the U.S. approach to the Vienna talks, claiming that the absence of a political decision by the United States has complicated the negotiations.
"The U.S. approach to Iran's principled demands, coupled with its unreasonable offers and unjustified pressure to hastily reach an agreement, show that the U.S. isn't interested in a strong deal that would satisfy both parties," the Iranian official said on Twitter.
In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States, plus Germany) and the EU.
However, former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the pact in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. This prompted Iran to drop some of its nuclear commitments and advance its previously halted nuclear programs. Since April 2021, Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties have held eight rounds of marathon talks in Vienna to restore the deal.