No deal without allaying Iran’s concerns, says top nuclear negotiator

June 14, 2021 - 12:59

TEHRAN - Iran’s top nuclear negotiator says Tehran is seeking a good deal that would address the Islamic Republic’s key concerns and there will be no deal if Iran’s concerns are not allayed.

“We need to have a good deal and a good deal is when our key concerns are addressed and our key objectives are met without which we don’t have a deal,” Abbas Araghchi told Press TV after Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China - countries ended the first day of the sixth round of their nuclear deal talks in Vienna on Saturday.

Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, added, “And we continue negotiations as much as needed without wasting our time or without letting anybody else waste our time. We continue negotiations. We are not in a hurry. We don’t have any deadline for ourselves.”

Araghchi noted that the important point for Iran is to reach a deal, which would address Iran’s “key requirements and positions” already announced by Iran’s delegates.

“There are many technicalities to be resolved and we decided today to continue our discussion, [and] our talks very intensively at both political and expert levels.... I think all questions are able to be resolved, if the other side can make ... their decisions, especially on difficult issues,” the top negotiator said.

“They (Americans) have to assure the Islamic Republic of Iran that what happened in the past is not going to be repeated in the future,” Abbas Araghchi insists.

The U.S. under former president Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and returned the previous sanctions lifted under the agreement and imposed new ones in line with his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Araghchi noted that "Iran has already made its difficult decision when it decided to stay in the deal, after the U.S. illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA."

Iran remained fully loyal to the JCPOA for a full year after the U.S. abandoned the deal, waiting for the European parties to the deal to compensate for the U.S. sanctions. However, seeing no action by the European side Iran announced on May 219 that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually remove bans on its nuclear activities.

"Now it is the time for the other sides. If they want to return to the JCPOA, [and] if they want the Islamic Republic of Iran to return to full implementation of its commitments in the JCPOA, they have to make their difficult decisions and they have to make sure, this is very important, they have to assure the Islamic Republic of Iran that what happened in the past is not going to be repeated in the future.”

The top diplomat had earlier said that it is unlikely that the Vienna nuclear deal talks would be concluded this week.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said senior diplomats from Iran and the remaining parties “reiterated their determination to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion” as soon as possible.

Ulyanov, who is the head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna talks, emphasized that "all of us want to do it ASAP, but the quality of an outcome document comes first."

Since April, representatives from Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA have been holding talks in Vienna with the aim of restoring the nuclear deal and bringing the U.S. back to compliance with the accord.

The talks are taking place within the JCPOA Joint Commission. The talks to revitalize the pact started after new U.S. President Joe Biden announced that his country is willing to rejoin the agreement that was struck during the Obama presidency. At the time Biden was vice president.

The meetings are chaired by Enrique Mora, European Union’s deputy secretary general for political affairs.

The U.S. has sent a delegation to Vienna but it is not attending the JCPOA Joint Commission talks directly as Washington is no longer a party to the deal. It has, however, held separate talks with the other parties except Iran.

Iran has expressed its strong dismay over the Biden administration’s failure to lift illegal sanctions against Iran despite the fact that 144 days have passed since Biden took over as president.

In a Twitter message on Sunday, Araghchi said, “The US has for the past 3 years targeted every single Iranian living anywhere with its brutal & unlawful sanctions.”

The top negotiator added that the sitting Biden administration is an accomplice in crippling sanctions against Iran. Araqchi once again called illegal sanctions “crimes against humanity”.

“The current US admin has partaken in these crimes against humanity for 144 days,” Araghchi lamented.

He said, “Iranians should not have spent a single day under sanctions.”

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