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Negotiators optimistic about Iran nuclear deal progress

Top negotiators in renewed talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal said Sunday they were optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement to impose restrictions on Tehran’s uranium enrichment.

“We are 5 minutes or 5 seconds from the finish,” Russian ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters outside the Palais Coburg in Vienna, four days after the talks. He said there are still “3 or 4 problems” to be solved.

“They are sensitive, especially to Iranians and Americans,” Ulyanov said. “I can’t guarantee it, but the impression is that we are on the right track.”

Enrique Mora, the European Union’s top negotiator, also said he is “absolutely” optimistic about the progress of the negotiations so far.

“We are making progress and I expect that we will conclude the negotiations soon,” he told Iranian media.

Negotiators from Iran, the US and the European Union will resume indirect talks on Thursday over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal after a months-long standstill in negotiations.

Since the actual collapse of the deal, Iran has used advanced centrifuges and rapidly expanded its stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. Under the deal, Iran agreed to restrict uranium enrichment under the supervision of UN inspectors in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Then US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord in 2018, saying he would negotiate a stronger deal, but it didn’t happen. A year later, Iran began breaking the terms of the deal.

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