Envoy: Creating a ‘candid picture’ about lifting sanctions pursued in Vienna

April 18, 2021 - 21:28

TEHRAN - Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations says the United States must present a list of steps it would take to lift sanctions on Iran in order to prove its seriousness in the ongoing talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“What is being pursued and discussed in Vienna is presentation of a clear and transparent image concerning the removal of the sanctions,” Kazem Gharibabadi told reporters on Sunday, IRNA reported.

“Identifying and listing the steps for the removal of sanctions are necessary in order to examine how serious Washington is in its claim about being willing to return to and fully honor the JCPOA, and to check whether it fits [Iran’s] declared policy,” he said, according to Press TV.

According to IRNA, Ambassador Gharibabadi also said, “What is being pursued in Vienna is creation of a candid picture about rescinding sanctions.”

Gharibabadi, a diplomat who is currently engaged in the multilateral talks in Vienna, said Iranian negotiators act in accordance with the country’s principles set out by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Iranian negotiators regularly report the results of the talks to senior officials for consideration and decision-making, the top diplomat added.

The talks began early this month and include the remaining parties to the JCPOA, namely Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, while excluding the U.S., which unilaterally left the deal three years ago to give itself leeway to indulge in unprecedented rounds of sanctions on Tehran.

The new U.S. administration which has expressed willingness to rejoin the nuclear deal has also sent a team of negotiators to Vienna. However, there is no direct between the Iranian and U.S. negotiators. The U.S. team is residing in a nearby hotel.

The remaining members of the JCPOA and the EU, which acts as coordinator of the JCPOA Joint Commission, act as intermediaries.

Iran responded to the United States’ “maximum pressure” campaign launched by Donald Trump in May 2018 by taking increasingly strong actions to advance its nuclear program – the latest of which was enriching uranium to purity of 60%– until the sanctions are rescinded.

Within the format of the JCPOA Joint Commission meetings, two expert-level working groups have been set up to lift the U.S. sanctions against Iran and coordinate Tehran's return to full compliance with its nuclear obligations under the deal.

Russia says working groups continue to work “on sanctions lifting"

Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said on Sunday that the working groups continued to work “on sanctions lifting and nuclear issues in the afternoon yesterday and today.”

“Their tasks are not easy but the process is going on,” Ulyanov said via Twitter.

A day earlier, Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s chief nuclear deal negotiator, said the participants reviewed the reports presented by the working groups and held “good discussions” about ways to lift sanctions.

“It seems that a new understanding is emerging and there is now common ground among all [the sides] on the final goal,” Araqchi, who also serves as Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, said after the Saturday meeting.


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