U.S. shirks responsibility in Vienna talks

February 1, 2022 - 21:19

TEHRAN – In its latest assessment of the state of things in the Vienna talks, the U.S. has once again sought to portray the ball as being in Iran’s court, ignoring Iran’s announcement that the conclusion of the Vienna talks hinges on a political decision on the part of Washington. 

The heads of the negotiating delegations in Vienna had returned home a few days ago for consultations. Meanwhile, the talks in Vienna are moving ahead at expert level, a further indication that the return of chief negotiators was meant to conduct political consultations in capitals. 

European Union coordinator Enrique Mora has confirmed that. “The 8th round of the #ViennaTalks #JCPOA, which started 27 December, so far the longest, takes a break. Participants will go back to capital for consultations and instructions to come back next week. Political decisions are needed now. Safe travels to all participants,” Mora tweeted on Friday.

The short hiatus came amid assessments that the talks have reached their final stage. Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov has pointed to such assessments. 

“The participants in the #ViennaTalks on #JCPOA will take a break, not very long, for consultations in the capitals. The negotiations have reached advanced stage when political decisions are needed. The 8th round is expected to resume next week,” Ulyanov tweeted late on Friday.

The conclusion that the talks are in the final stage is also shared by the Americans, with the difference that the Americans use the final-stage assessment to force Iran to make concessions. 

A senior U.S. State Department official has resorted to such a tactic. In a special briefing on Monday, the U.S. official claimed that the talks are in the final stretch and that Iran needed to make a decision. 

“As a matter of timing, we are in the final stretch because, as we’ve said now for some time, this can’t go on forever because of Iran’s nuclear advances.  This is not a prediction.  It’s not a threat.  It’s not an artificial deadline.  It’s just a requirement that we’ve conveyed indirectly to Iran and to all our P5+1 partners for some time, which is that given the pace of Iran’s advances, its nuclear advances, we only have a handful of weeks left to get a deal, after which point it will unfortunately be no longer possible to return to the JCPOA,” the U.S. official said, referring to the Iran nuclear deal by its acronym. 

The U.S. official added, “Now is a time for political decisions.  Now is the time to decide whether – for Iran to decide whether it’s prepared to make those decisions necessary for a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA.”

The remarks came at a time when Iran made it clear that it had made all the necessary moves needed to push the talks forward and now the ball is in the U.S.’s court. In other words, Iran believes that it’s up to the U.S. to decide whether or not it wants to see the talks conclude in the coming weeks. 

In his recent phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi underlined that Iran has done its part to reach a deal in Vienna. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown its will and seriousness to reach an agreement in the negotiation process, and any effort by the other side in this regard should include the lifting of sanctions, verification and valid guarantee,” he told Macron. 

In the call, the French president stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran has the right to distrust the United States because it was the United States that caused the crisis, according to a readout of the call released by the official website of the Iranian presidency.


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