Khatibzadeh: We need to give Vienna talks time

May 17, 2021 - 19:5

TEHRAN — Speaking at his weekly press briefing on Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the Vienna talks are ongoing and many empty brackets have been filled.

“It seems that we should give an opportunity (to talks),” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

He noted that Iran does not allow these talks to protract, as it does not want an agreement to be reached that is not within the framework of the establishment's policies and instructions issued by Tehran.

The spokesman referred to Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, the head of the Iranian negotiating team’s meeting with the European delegations in Vienna on Sunday, saying that it was decided to help the working groups in the next few days. 

The spokesman did not rule out the possible return of the delegations to their capitals, saying that if they cannot reach conclusions in the coming days, they might return to their capitals on the weekend for further consultations. 

“A significant percentage of the remaining brackets or vacancies in these working (nuclear) groups have been completed and arrangements have been made. Some of these brackets require political decisions, which must be made in the capitals of the countries,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman says.

“We have to wait and see where these technical talks will go in the next day or two,” the diplomat remarked. 

Responding a question about the three-month agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the spokesman said that the parliamentary law emphasizes suspension of access beyond the safeguards agreement to the (International Atomic Energy) Agency. 

“This has been going on for the past three months and the Agency has no access beyond the safeguards agreement. The agreement reached between the two parties was that the films should be recorded and not given to them (the IAEA). At the end of three months we can decide whether to delete the tapes or extend the agreement based on the decisions made. The agreement reached between Iran and the Agency, including on these films, is an internal matter between Iran and the Agency, and if we continue this agreement, it will not be a violation of parliamentary law,” he remarked.

Khatibzadeh added, "According to the negotiation process, there have been talks to give an extension to the agreement and the opportunity created, and if the negotiations are on the right track, this decision may be made, but in any case, access by the safeguards agreement will not be given to the Agency."

The spokesman emphasized that the talks will continue in Vienna.

“A significant percentage of the remaining brackets or vacancies in these working groups have been completed and arrangements have been made. Some of these brackets require political decisions, which must be made in the capitals of the countries,” he noted.

He stressed, "There is no such thing as an initial agreement and no agreement will be reached unless everything has been agreed upon."

Responding to a question about the cancellation of Mohammad Javad Zarif’s trip to Austria, the spokesman expressed his disappointment over the matter, implicitly saying that the cancellation was due to the flying of Israel’s flag over the government buildings in Vienna. 

“We are sorry that some European countries have decided to stand by the oppressor and the criminal,” he said. 

‘We will stand by the people of Palestine’

Responding to questions regarding the Palestine issue, the spokesman said that Iran has been closely following these sorrowful events from the very beginning.

Referring to Zarif’s speech in the virtual meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Sunday, Khatibzadeh said that the speech had several specific points, including the need to identify the crimes committed by the Zionist regime in the occupied territories as war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

He stressed, “Palestine will always be our ideal and we will stand by the people of Palestine.”

‘Tehran-Riyadh talks are bilateral, regional and international’

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Foreign Ministry spokesman dismissed rumors that has Iran has asked Saudi Arabia to bypass the sanctions and sell oil for the Islamic Republic, calling the story “propagandistic”.

He added, “Our talks with Saudi Arabia are on bilateral, regional and international issues, and these talks are being pursued on these issues, and these rumors are not true.” 

SA/PA

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