Araqchi briefs President-elect Raisi on JCPOA talks

June 23, 2021 - 22:15

TEHRAN – Top Iranian nuclear negotiator has provided a thorough report on the Vienna nuclear talks to the new president of Iran in preparation for the transition of power.

Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi, who is leading the Iranian negotiating team in the Vienna talks, were instructed by outgoing President Hassan Rouhani to brief President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on the latest developments of the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Mahmoud Vaezi, the Iranian president’s chief of staff, said the JCPOA is an important issue and that’s why Rouhani instructed his diplomats to brief the incoming government.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday, Vaezi said, “As regards the JCPOA, which is an important issue, the president ordered Araqchi, along with the foreign minister, to meet with Mr. Raisi as soon as he arrives in Tehran, and to announce the progress and restrictions. The meeting lasted an hour and a half and everything was announced.”

Vaezi also said that the Iranian president has instructed all cabinet members to consult with Raisi’s transition team if they are making decisions that affect the next government.

Araqchi has recently returned to Iran from Vienna after concluding the sixth round of the JCPOA talks. Diplomats from Iran and other parties to the Iran nuclear pact held a meeting on Sunday noon to conclude the sixth round of talks that have been underway since April to revive the nuclear deal. Araqchi issued a statement about the holding of the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission. He said at the end of the sixth round of the Vienna talks, a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission chaired by Enrique Mora, the EU Deputy High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was held.

The top Iranian nuclear negotiator also hailed the progress made during the last round of talks in remarks to Iranian state TV.

“Our progress in this round has been relatively good, because a large number of texts are ready now, and the amount that is not ready has at least one very clear situation, and it shows a picture of the differences and what stage (the differences) are in, and this helps decision makers make the right decision. We have come a long way so far and we are nearing the end, but the rest of the way, as I said before, will not be an easy one,” he said, adding, “I hope and I think that if the other parties can make their own decisions, God willing, we will be able to reach an agreement that we want. Our positions have not changed since the beginning of the talks, and we want all U.S. sanctions to be lifted, as well as their verification and then Iran will return to its commitments under the JCPOA.”

Vaezi also confirmed that significant progress was made during the talks. He said the negotiating parties agreed to lift all insurance, oil, and shipping sanctions. According to Vaezi, about 1,040 Trump-era sanctions will be lifted under the agreement. He also said that the parties agreed to lift some sanctions on individuals and the Leader’s Office.

Vaezi underlined the need to brief Raisi on these developments. To that end, Rouhani has held a meeting with Raisi.

“Today, the president-elect came to visit Hojatoleslam President Hassan Rouhani by attending the Pasture,” the presidential communications office said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Alireza Mo’azi, director of the communications office, said the transition period is being done in a “professional, civil and ethical” manner.

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