Iran FM, EU foreign policy chief discuss Vienna talks

December 10, 2021 - 21:27

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and the European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have held a phone conversation to discuss the Vienna talks which resumed on Thursday. 

During the phone talk, Borrell, who is the coordinator for the Vienna talks, gave explanations on the trend of the negotiations and offered his assessment of the viewpoints of the negotiators while expressing content with the resumption of the Vienna talks, the Iranian foreign ministry said.
He also enumerated the challenges which might harm the negotiations, expressing hope the Vienna talks will move towards reaching a deal with the efforts and interaction of all parties.

The European foreign policy chief underlined the U.S. and the three European countries have been reminded that talks should be realistic and all sides should feel the progress in the negotiations.

He described as important cooperation between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and said he was pleased with the ongoing contacts and the continuation of talks and technical cooperation between the two sides.

Borrell also called for the easing of some current concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s foreign minister, in turn, described interactions between negotiators in Vienna as fruitful, and once again underscored Iran’s goodwill and seriousness to reach a good agreement.

Amir Abdollahian said, “We have always had close cooperation with the Agency. Accordingly, a delegation from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran is leaving for Vienna for talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency authorities.”

He then criticized the stances and statement by the three European countries and their behavior as they have adopted a negative political and media stance.

He dismissed such media campaigns as unconstructive, saying they will only further complicate the situation and slow down the process of reaching a deal.

Amir Abdollahian touched upon the existing consultations, and described China and Russia’s positions and viewpoints as realistic and constructive.

He said if our European colleagues study Iran’s proposed texts without wrong presuppositions and carefully, they will realize that the proposals are within the framework of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and focus on unfinished discussions in June 2021 talks. Of course, it goes without saying that Iran’s points of view are different from those of the West in some respects.

Amir Abdollahian added, “We are all in Vienna to hold talks and reach a good deal.”

He blasted the West’s ongoing inaction even at the negotiating table, saying Iran has not received any constructive and forward-moving suggestions from the other side, which contradicts their announcement in which they said they will take part in the talks seriously.

Over the past eight years, Amid Abdollahian added, there were enough words but no deed, however, today is the time of taking action and “we are trying to reach a serious and good deal.”

The top diplomat said Iran’s nuclear program is completely peaceful, but easing nuclear concerns is directly related to the removal of all JCPOA sanctions.

Amid Abdollahian said Iran is doubtful whether the Western side is ready to remove sanctions or simply wants to have its own concerns eased unilaterally.

He expressed hope the Western side will take part in the negotiations in good faith as well as with initiative and constructive ideas, so that the negotiations will move fast forward.

The foreign minister also described as constructive Borrell’s role as the coordinator for the negotiations as well as the role of his deputy Enrique Mora, appreciating their efforts.

Amir Abdollahian added Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri and his delegation will stay in Vienna as long as necessary to reach a deal and hold consultations with the 4+1 group.

The seventh round of sanctions removal talks resumed on Thursday with the start of the Joint Commission in Vienna.

The meeting in the Coburg Hotel was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary General of the EU External Action Service Enrique Mora and top negotiator of Iran Ali Bagheri, and with the presence of delegations of Iran, the P4+1 group (China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany), and the European Union. The attendees discussed how to proceed with the talks.

Bagheri explained the basics of Iran's proposals and emphasized Iran's seriousness and goodwill in the talks, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

It was decided at the meeting discussions on the texts will continue at different levels.

Bagheri calls talks with Chinese and Russian negotiators in Vienna ‘useful and constructive’ 

Bagheri attended Thursday’s plenary session. He also met with the Chinese and Russian negotiators in Vienna. “Started my working day by hosting a useful & constructive meeting with top negotiators of Russia & China. Also met with EU's Mora ahead of Joint Commission,” he tweeted on Thursday. “Iran will continue to engage seriously & is determined to reach a good deal that secures our nation's rights & interests.”

Iran has underlined its seriousness to reach a good agreement at the Vienna talks. Amir Abdollahian underlined this in a post on Instagram. “We are all in Vienna to negotiate to reach a good agreement. The Western parties should know that in the last eight years, enough has been said and they made promises that were never fulfilled, but today is the time to act and we are working to reach a serious and good agreement,” he wrote. 

The top Iranian diplomat added, “Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful, but resolving the alleged concerns of the Western parties is directly linked to the complete removal of sanctions. Although we are doubtful whether the West is basically ready to lift the sanctions or only seeks to resolve its concerns in a one-sided manner, if the West takes part in the negotiations ahead with good intentions, initiative and constructive ideas, we will certainly see quick progress in the negotiations.”

The Vienna talks are being resumed after a week-long hiatus. Last week, negotiators from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries gathered in Vienna after more than five months to restart the negotiations in which Iran presented two documents; one addressed sanctions lifting measures and the other dealt with the nuclear measures to be taken by Iran if the 2015 nuclear deal is to be revived. 

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