Iran rejects E3 narrative on hiatus in Vienna talks

December 19, 2021 - 21:7

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has reacted to a European statement that blames the break in Vienna talks on Iran, saying that the hiatus in the talks was a consensual decision. 

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was held at the luxurious Palais Coburg hotel in Vienna on Friday evening, marking the end of nearly three weeks of painstaking negotiations over how to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran. 

The current round of talks began on November 29 after a five-month hiatus and continued for three weeks with a week-long interval happening in the middle of the talks.

At the end of the latest round, the Europeans sought to downplay the progress made and upped the ante by underlining that time is running out for reaching a deal with Iran.

“There has been some technical progress in the last 24 hours, but this only takes us back nearer to where the talks stood in June,” the E3 negotiators said in a statement, describing the break as “a disappointing pause in negotiations.”

“We hope that Iran is in a position to resume the talks quickly, and to engage constructively so that talks can move at a faster pace,” the European statement added. “There are weeks not months before the JCPOA’s core non-proliferation benefits are lost. We are rapidly reaching the end of the road for this negotiation.”

European officials claimed that Iran requested the break, something Khatibzadeh strongly denied.

In a statement on Saturday, Khatibzadeh described the European statements on the talks as “false comments and fabrications.”

He said, “Contrary to the Western side’s claim about Iran’s call for a hiatus in negotiations, these three countries and other members of the P4+1 are fully aware that the timetable was fixed following a consensus among all parties and in consideration of the holidays of the European sides on the occasion of Christmas and the New Year.”

Khatibazadeh noted that it is not the first time the Western parties resort to distortion of truth and spreading misinformation. He also stressed that the European troika may have sought, through this unfounded claim, to make up for their request for premature return to their capitals during the previous round of talks. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman concluded his comments by saying that the European countries should show seriousness and determination to advance the talks instead of insisting on a threadbare and futile blame-game.

The next round is expected to be held later this month. Some parties expressed hope that it would be the last round. Iran, for its part, did not rule out the possibility that the next round would be the last one depending on the western parties showing the will to reach an agreement with Iran. 

Bagheri Kani said the pace of reaching an agreement depends on the will of the opposite side, adding, “If the other side accepts the rational views and positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the new round of talks can be the last one and we can achieve a deal in the shortest possible time.”
 

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