Iranian deputy FM: U.S. does not get it about Mideast situation

Araqchi says if JCPOA falls out of balance grave fallouts will ensue

January 29, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi has said the United States does not understand the situation in the Middle East, warning if the Iran nuclear deal falls flat, it will cause severe consequences.

He made the remarks on Tuesday in a meeting in Vienna with Andreas Schieder, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Austria.

Araqchi also thanked Austria for its constructive position towards the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name for the nuclear deal), but rapped the European Union for delaying its actions to save the deal in face of exit from the deal.

In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the P5+1 (Russia, China, the U.S., Britain, France plus Germany).

Following the U.S. exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

On Monday, Araqchi also met with Austrians Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, where he called for the immediate implementation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that the European Union has promised to put in action to save the nuclear deal.

The two diplomats also discussed the Middle East developments and the situation in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen, with Araqchi decrying the Israeli regime’s destructive policies as the root cause of instability in the region.

Kneissl, for her part, highlighted the significance of Tehran-Vienna ties, calling for continued consultations with Iran to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East.

Earlier on Monday, Araqchi had a meeting with Austria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Johannes Peterlik.

In that meeting, the Austrian diplomat voiced his country’s support for the JCPOA and lauded Iran’s decision to remain in the accord despite the U.S. withdrawal.

Peterlik also said that Austria’s medium and small companies are eager to work with Iran.

Also on Monday, Araqchi held a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano in Vienna.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister urged the IAEA to remain neutral and professional in its verification practices regarding Tehran’s nuclear activities.

In the gathering, the two sides discussed the latest developments surrounding Iran-IAEA cooperation, including the UN agency’s verification of Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA.

The Iranian diplomat further reminded the European Union of its “historical duty” to guarantee Iran’s interests under the JCPOA and restore the balance between the nuclear deal’s costs and advantages for Iran “otherwise there will be no reason for the Islamic Republic of Iran to keep honoring its commitments.”

For his part, Amano expressed satisfaction with the status of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA in the course of implementing the JCPOA.

The IAEA is responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities as per the nuclear deal and should also help Iran develop its nuclear energy program.

Since the historic deal was signed in Vienna in 2015, the IAEA has confirmed the Islamic Republic’s compliance with its commitments in 13 successive reports.

Araqchi’s visit to Austria was the first leg of a tour of Europe that was scheduled to take him later to Slovakia and Bulgaria.

SP/PA

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