Iranian lawmakers draw red lines on Vienna talks

February 20, 2022 - 21:20

TEHRAN – A large group of Iranian lawmakers has taken a rare stance on the Iranian government’s negotiating position, warning it against crossing the redlines drawn by the Islamic Republic. 

More than 250 lawmakers wrote a letter to the government of Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi laying out a set of conditions for Iran to recommit itself to a deal with the West. 

The letter, addressed to President Raisi, laid out an array of important measures to be taken by Iran and the United States as well as the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), before and after reviving tattered deal. 

First, the lawmakers advised the government to learn a lesson from Iran’s past experience in its dealings with the U.S. and Europe and draw redlines based on Tehran’s national interests. 

Second, the lawmakers called on the government to seek guarantees from the U.S. and Europe that they won’t quit the JCPOA again. 

Third, they said the U.S. and other JCPOA parties must make a commitment that they won’t use a controversial built-in mechanism within the JCPOA. The mechanism, known as “snapback”, allows parties to the deal, except Iran, to reimpose all UN sanctions on Iran without consent from other participants if Iran failed to honor its obligations under the deal.

Fourth, the lawmakers said the U.S. and Europe should make a commitment that they will remove nuclear sanctions and those imposed under terrorism, missile, and human rights authorities. 

Fifth, the lawmakers said Iran must reverse its nuclear measures only after the U.S. verifiably remove its sanctions. 

The letter represents a changing mood regarding the JCPOA talks in the parliament which in the past provided the legislative infrastructure for the resumption of Iran’s nuclear activities. It also signifies that if the West does not show flexibility in relation to guarantees and verification, a deal won’t be made any time soon. 

It also comes at a time when the success of talks in Vienna seems to be depending on the West providing robust guarantees that they won’t renege on their commitments again. Guarantees along with verification measures Iran is demanding before any deal have appeared as Iran’s main redlines in the talks. 

In his meeting with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian brought up the issue of Iran’s redlines.

Amir Abdollahian has sat down with Borrell on the margins of the Munich Security Conference.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed the latest status of the Vienna talks as well as the details agreed upon by parties to the negotiations.

In the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat appreciated the role of Borrell and his deputy Enrique Mora as coordinator of the talks, saying Iran is determined to see the talks end with a good agreement.

Amir Abdollahian also elaborated on Iran’s positions in that regard.

He said the Islamic Republic of Iran has presented all possible initiatives and proposals, saying it is time the U.S. and the three European countries adopt the necessary political decisions to show they are really determined to work out a deal in the shortest possible time.

Amir Abdollahian stressed that if it weren’t for Iran’s initiatives, the negotiators wouldn’t be so close to reaching an agreement as they are now.

Nevertheless, he added, the other side should know that Tehran will not give up its red lines.
 

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