Iran FM urges West to enter Vienna talks with ‘new and constructive’ approach

November 26, 2021 - 17:26

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday that the West must enter the Vienna talks with a “new and constructive approach.”

Talking to Borrell on the phone, Amir Abdollahian said if the other sides are ready to commit themselves to their obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement and lift sanction “it will be possible to achieve a good and even immediate agreement.”

The telephone call between Amir Abdollahian and the EU’s chief diplomat came four days before diplomats from Iran, China, Russia, Germany, Britain and France and the U.S. resume talks in Vienna to explore ways to lift sanctions on Iran.

The United States is participating in the talks indirectly. Iran has said it won’t negotiate directly with the U.S. until Washington returns to the JCPOA.

Borrell’s deputy Enrique Mora acts as coordinator of the talks in Vienna.

The talks to revive the nuclear deal, officially called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will be resumed on Monday after a five-month delay due to the presidential election in Iran in which a new government came to power in Iran.

Talks to restore the JCPOA started in April and six rounds of talks were held until June 20.

Amir Abdollahian tells EU’s Borrell that there must be serious guarantee that U.S. will not quit JCPOA again.

The U.S. abandoned the nuclear deal in May 2018 and returned previous sanctions lifted under the agreement and imposed new ones. The European sides - especially Britain, France and Germany known as E3 - also acted passively in the face of U.S. sanctions and failed to fulfill their commitments based on the JCPOA.

Amir Abdollahian said despite the behavior of the U.S. and three European countries toward the JCPOA “we will enter the Vienna talks with good will and seriousness and seek good and verifiable agreement.”

Iran’s chief diplomat added, “A return to the JCPOA must actually be based on commitment to all its contents and terms.”

Amir Abdollahian went on to say that it is clear that six rounds of talks in Vienna failed to achieve a desirable result in revitalizing the agreement and therefore the Iranian negotiating team pay attention to all issues that must be resolved.

He reiterated Tehran’s position that “there must be serious and enough guarantee that the U.S., which cannot be trusted, will not withdraw the JCPOA again.”

Pointing to the contradictory approach of the Americans in a way that their words don’t conform with their actions, the foreign minister said, “Since the White House, concurrent with an announcement that it is ready to return to the JCPOA, has slapped sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies in two stages in the recent weeks, all should witness a strong will and serious move for complete cancellation of sanctions.”

For his part, Borrell said he as the coordinator of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA believes that “detailed and intensive” talks should be held on the remaining issues and removal of sanctions. Borrell also said there is a possibility that all sides can return to the “original JCPOA”. 

Borrell added, “The only way to lift sanctions is to revive the JCPOA and in that way Iran will gain its rights and the international community will also be assured of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

The European chief diplomat also expressed wish that all sides would enter the talks in Vienna with a “strong determination” and “positive and pragmatic” approach and negotiate on unresolved issues and removal of sanctions.

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