Ulyanov describes U.S. readiness to rejoin JCPOA as a pragmatic move

March 6, 2021 - 17:40

TEHRAN - Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations, including the IAEA, in Vienna, has said the United States’ willingness to return to the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal), is a pragmatic and right approach, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported on Friday.

"Americans have shown a very responsible approach in this regard. They are ready at this stage to discuss the return to what it was. It is rational, pragmatic, and correct," Ulyanov noted.

Ulyanov also said, "the ambitions" of Iran and the U.S. are alarming.

"In this situation, we see that either Tehran or Washington starts saying that the other side must make the first step. It is a road to nowhere. The only way to make progress is to synchronize practical steps so that nobody could assume they have lost face," he remarked.

The diplomat pointed out that synchronization and a certain roadmap with step-by-step instructions were the only way to success.

The current parties to the Iran nuclear deal and the United States are quite likely to hold an informal meeting, but certain issues should be clarified, Ulyanov stressed.

"It is obvious that they should start as soon as possible," he said when asked when talks on a U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal would begin.

"Perhaps, an informal meeting of the current parties to the deal and the United States is needed to start talks. In principle, it is quite likely, but some details need to be clarified, as the issue is very sensitive, especially for Iran," Ulyanov noted.

According to the Russian diplomat, it has become possible to focus on the diplomatic track. He estimated chances for negotiation as very high.

"We are witnessing a unique situation when there is unity of purpose, since both Iran and the United States want to come back to full implementation of the JCPOA," the diplomat said. "Now, the sequence of steps and their content should be negotiated. It is a solvable task with a common strategic goal," he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also said a window of opportunity for saving the multilateral nuclear deal remains open, expressing hope that all sides will return to the full implementation of the agreement in its original form.

"We hope that it will become possible to improve the situation in the near future and to return the JCPOA [the nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] implementation process to the initially coordinated framework,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Russkaya Mysl magazine published in the UK.

He added that the revival of the JCPOA is possible only if all parties to the agreement fully implement their commitments.

“Tehran has repeatedly spoken in favor of its willingness to completely unfreeze all of the JCPOA’s provisions that it had suspended as soon as the forfeited balance of interests is restored,” the top Russian diplomat said, referring to Washington's sanctions and unilateral withdrawal from the agreement and Iran's subsequent countermeasures in the face of U.S. hostility.

He emphasized that Moscow is “closely” cooperating with all the JCPOA participants to secure their full compliance with the deal and said, “For example, we also maintain regular contact with European partners for elaborating possible decisions to rectify the current situation.”

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