Iran: Interim nuclear agreement never been on our agenda

January 24, 2022 - 21:13

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that the Vienna talks are moving forward in the right direction.

“What we are witnessing today in Vienna is the progress of the talks in the right direction. We have made good progress in all four areas (sanctions removal, verification, guarantees, and nuclear issues)…, some documents the parentheses and discrepancies have decreased,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said in his weekly press briefing.

He also said that the great success in Vienna has been the fact that many of Iran's initiatives have become “words”, including in the field of guarantees.

The diplomat continued, “It is important that everyone involved in the talks in Vienna agreed that what happened in previous years with the illegal withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should not be repeated. The principle that guarantees must be considered has been agreed upon by all. We presented the fully operational and realistic ideas in Vienna, and we believe that these ideas have enabled us to discuss guarantees.”

Khatibzadeh added that Iran is in Vienna for an agreement that has two main features: durability and reliability.

“That is why the path to obtaining guarantees is an important path,” he pointed out.

Commenting on U.S. Special Envoy for Iran’s remarks on the possibility of reviving the JCPOA on the condition that Iran would release four U.S. citizens held in Iran, the diplomat said that Iran has never accepted any preconditions from day one.

“I believe that the negotiations are complicated enough and should not become more complicated by making sophisticated statements,” he asserted.
He then went on to discuss the issues of the Iranian citizens held in the United States, saying that the diplomatic apparatus has expressed its grave concerns about the situation of Iranian nationals detained in the United States from the beginning.

“Due to the human nature of this story, whether directly or indirectly, before or during the negotiations, this issue was on our agenda, but these are two different paths. This human issue can be resolved in the shortest possible time if the United States adheres to the agreements it has already made. Unlike our nationals who have been taken hostage in the United States, under the pretext of circumventing illegal and extraterritorial sanctions, the U.S. citizens in Iran have gone through the competent court proceeding,” he noted.

The Foreign Ministry official stated that there are two different paths regarding the Vienna talks and the prisoner exchange and they are separate, but if the opposite side has the will, “we can reach a stable and reliable agreement in the shortest possible time on both issues.”
Khatibzadeh added that Iran’s position on what is being discussed in Vienna is clear. 

“The agreement we are looking for is stable and reliable and will not accept anything less,” he reiterated.

He added that what is valid to Iran is the quality of what is agreed upon, but nothing less and nothing more. 

Khatibzadeh stressed, “An interim agreement or something like that has never been on our agenda. We must all try to reach an agreement. We hope that the European Union representative has conveyed to the United States that we have a serious need to reach a qualitative and substantive agreement, and I hope that the United States has realized this need.”

On the comments by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that negotiators should reach an agreement by February, the diplomat demanded the U.S. Secretary of State to convey this deadline and sense of urgency to themselves and their government. 

“For a long time, the United States withdrew from the JCPOA in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. For us, the authenticity and quality of the agreement reached in Vienna is a verifiable and reliable agreement. We expect them to speed up instead of making artificial deadlines. Only then, an agreement will definitely be reached in a shorter time,” he concluded.

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