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Vienna shadow play hangs over Iran nuke deal

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna. 

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna on April 26, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 – Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany – but not directly with the United States.

That’s quite something. After all, it was the Donald Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.