Iran nuclear talks show increasing hopes of a resolution

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Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Enrique Mora, addresses the media as he leaves the 'Grand Hotel Wien' where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran took place in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. World powers have held a fourth round of high-level talks aimed at bringing the United States back into a landmark nuclear deal with Iran. Both sides suggested a resolution was possible but major stumbling blocks remain. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner)

VIENNA – World powers met Wednesday for a new round of high-level talks on bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran amid growing hopes that an agreement might soon be within reach.

Enrique Mora, the European Union official who chaired the talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran told reporters “we have made substantial progress” though there were “still things to be worked out.”

“I will not venture a date because you never know, but I'm quite sure there will be a final agreement,” he said.

The nations have been trying to resolve the major outstanding issues on how to return the U.S. into the landmark agreement, which then President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of unilaterally in 2018.

Russian delegate Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted after the talks that participants had “noted that ‘good’ or ‘significant’ progress was made and that an agreement was ‘within reach.’”

Before the talks, Iran's delegate, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said there had been good progress, but that several key issues needed further assessment and would be brought back by the diplomats for discussion with their governments at home.

The sides agreed to reconvene the talks in Vienna next week.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin that there had been “concrete results” that he wouldn't detail in public, but which gave him hope for a resolution soon.