IAEA chief, EU discuss JCPOA

August 31, 2021 - 17:50

TEHRAN – International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi has met with the head of the European Union delegation to the UN organizations in Vienna to discuss a number of issues including the situation around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 

The meeting came amid uncertainties over the resumption date of the Vienna talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

Stephan Klement, the EU ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations who also serves as Special Advisor on the Iran nuclear issue to the European Union External Action Service, said on Twitter that he met the head of the UN nuclear watchdog on Tuesday.

“Happy to welcome @rafaelmgrossi at @euunvie to discuss our strong cooperation with @iaeaorg and pertinent issues of common interest including #JCPOA as well as the upcoming Board of Governors and 65th General Conference #IAEAGC,” Klement said on Twitter. 

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 but the U.S. withdrew from it in May 2018. Since April, six rounds of talks have been held between Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal as well as the U.S. but the talks have not resulted in any tangible results. 

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the new Iranian foreign minister, has recently expressed hope that other sides would return to negotiations with wisdom. 

In a recent telephone conversation with EU's chief negotiator Josep Borrell, he warned that the Americans would not benefit from threatening language and that if they continued to do so, it would not send a constructive message to the new government.

“I made it very clear to the EU negotiator that the Americans would not earn any things through threatening language, and that if they continued this behavior, it would not be a constructive message for the new government,” he said. 

Speaking in a televised interview, Abdollahian added, “We are not looking to escape the negotiating table. The thirteenth government considers negotiations as negotiations that have tangible achievements in the interests of the Iranian people. Naturally, this message has had its positive effects on the other side.”
The foreign minister emphasized, “A negotiation is a tool of diplomacy and we hope that good things will happen and the other parties will be present at the negotiating table on the basis of wisdom.”

He noted, “The other side understands that a process takes two to three months for the new government to take office. This is one of the issues on the agenda of the foreign policy apparatus and the government.”

In a recent speech, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stated that the country’s diplomacy should not be overshadowed by the nuclear issue. He stressed that the Americans have passed all limits in impudence and brazenness regarding the nuclear negotiations. 

“It was they who withdrew from the JCPOA, but they speak as if it was Iran who withdrew from it,” the Leader asserted, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by its acronym. He added, “In reality, it was they who mocked the negotiations. The Europeans acted in the same way.”

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that the current U.S. administration is no different from the previous administration and that the new administration makes the same demands that the Trump administration did.

The Leader also touched on the Afghanistan issue and outlined the contours of Iran’s position on the war-torn country. 

“Behind the scenes of U.S. foreign policy there lies a predatory wolf that sometimes changes into a cunning fox. Today’s situation in Afghanistan is an example of this,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that the nuclear talks in Vienna are not intended to rewrite the text of the 2015 nuclear deal, noting the talks to revive the JCPOA do not need “mediation.”

“We do not have direct or indirect talks with the United States in Vienna or anywhere else, and the talks in Vienna took place between Iran and the P4+1,” the spokesman told a weekly press briefing.

Khatibzadeh added what the Biden administration has done so far is an insistence on the failed policies of the Trump administration. 

“If they are looking for better results. They must reconsider their behavior in putting maximum pressure on the Iranian people, which is in fact economic terrorism, and only then will they see that the path to dialogue in Vienna is going well,” he pointed out.

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