Envoys of Iran and the P5+1 nations, namely the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Germany, are expected to meet in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss a proposed agreement to end the Iranian nuclear program. Earlier this month, it was reported that negotiators from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had approved the continuation of a deal that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium as long as it uses it for peaceful purposes. However, the deal is at risk of being derailed after President Trump decided on May 8 to withdraw from the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The U.S. has not yet released the list of exemptions, however, the IAEA’s move suggests that it can be supported without violating the terms of the JCPOA.
In July 2015, when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was agreed upon between Iran and the United States, France, China, Britain, Germany and Russia, the negotiations took place in Vienna. This meeting will mark the first time in seven years that Iran and the P5+1 are expected to hold negotiations with Iran. A breakdown of the Vienna negotiations would set back the implementation of any deal agreed upon between the parties — such as preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or impeding the country’s ability to obtain the means to make them. Speaking to reporters, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed that talks about the Iran nuclear deal “have not really restarted” and noted that a “point of disagreement” had been referred to during a meeting of the Joint Commission (joint U.S.-Iranian committee) but that the “process of resolution is under way in both capitals.”