Step-by-step plan for reviving JCPOA has been set aside, says Araghchi

April 25, 2021 - 20:56

TEHRAN — Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday that a step-by-step removal of sanctions plan for possible revival of the JCPOA has been put aside altogether.

“The step-by-step plan has long been abandoned. The Islamic Republic of Iran rejected the step-by-step proposal to lift the sanctions before Nowruz (Iranian New Year), and the issue of step-by-step negotiations is out of the question,” Araghchi told reporters on a meeting with MPs sitting on Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. 

He said, “Discussions on the final stage of the continuation of the agreement, i.e. the arrangements envisaged by the Islamic Republic, are being discussed.” 

About the spirit of the negotiations in Vienna and its possible outcome, the senior negotiator said, “There are challenges in the negotiations. Of course, we are on a path that we can reach to a successful end, but it is too early to say whether we can overcome the challenges and obstacles.”

He noted that Iran cannot say whether it is optimistic or pessimistic. “But we are not disappointed and we will do our job. Our positions are very clear and firm. The sanctions must be lifted, verified and then Iran must return to its commitments. We stood up in this regard and the representatives were given full explanations.”

About P4+1 and the United States’ opinion about the sanctions list handed by Iran, the top negotiator said the debate is going on.

“There are two types of U.S. sanctions against Iran. First, categorized or so-called divisional sanctions, such as oil, banking and insurance, shipping, petrochemical, building and automobile sanctions, and second, sanctions against real and legal individuals.”

He said that the list of sanctions against individuals includes about 1,500 cases “but we are moving in both directions.”

“Divisional sanctions should all be lifted, and I think there is an understanding in this regard, and sanctions against individuals should be lifted as well. There are complex issues in this area that we are examining.”

On how long he thinks the negotiations will last, Araghchi said nobody can predict the time needed for the negotiations, but “we will not allow the negotiations to be protracted.”

He said if Iran feels that other sides are not serious enough, or they are trying to buy time, the negotiations will be stopped by the Iranian side.

The delegates returned to their countries for consultation on April 21. They plan to reconvene this week to resume the talks. 


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