Vienna talks resume with no change in Iran’s position

February 27, 2022 - 21:43

TEHRAN – Iran’s top negotiator is heading back to Vienna after making consultations in Tehran with relevant officials. The consultations seem to have resulted in no significant change in Iran’s position toward a number of remaining issues.

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, left Tehran for Vienna on Sunday night.  The talks in Vienna over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are expected to resume immediately after the arrival of the top Iranian negotiator.

Before the departure of Bagheri Kani, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council held an important meeting on the Vienna talks to take stock of the state of the talks. The Council underlined the need to meet Iran’s legal and logical demands which are part of the country’s red lines, according to Nour News, a website close to the Council.

During the meeting, it was underlined that the remaining issues, which put the negotiations on the verge of “agreement or deadlock,” should be swiftly settled. Accepting any agreement by Iran depends on the settlement of these issues, according to Nour News. 

The website also pointed to the issue of the timeline of the talks, saying that no timeline can hinder the continuation of negotiations, which will go on until a good agreement is reached. Nour News said media propaganda that the negotiations are running out of time should not be heeded. 

In addition, a lawmaker has hinted that there are a number of issues whose settlement needs a clear decision on the part of the West, particularly the United States.

“The dialogues have gone a long way and an initial text has been prepared, this text is close to agreement; but there are still some issues that we should not expect an agreement until these issues are resolved,” said Abolfazl Amouei, who is a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. 

He pointed out that a lot of issues have been resolved in the talks “but several issues that are part of Iran's red lines are still unresolved and Iran's views have not been met, and the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to insist on its red lines.”

According to Amouei, the remaining issues include the scope of sanctions relief, guarantees, verification, and differences between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The lawmaker said the Biden administration agreed to significantly lift sanctions imposed by the previous U.S. administration but it still refuses to lift all the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in line with the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.

Amouei described differences between Tehran and the IAEA as “political allegations” that could pose a challenge to agreement and that they should be somehow resolved in the negotiations. 

Iran has said it wants a deal as soon as possible but before such a deal is done, the West should provide guarantees and agree to verification measures Iran demands to verify the lifting of sanctions.

The state of the talks was discussed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Josep Borrel, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and chief coordinator of the Vienna talks. 

In the telephone call, Borrell and Amir Abdollahian reviewed the latest developments in the Vienna talks.

The EU foreign policy chief outlined efforts by all parties to the negotiations, stressing that the Vienna talks have reached a critical stage that requires serious decisions by all sides.

Amir Abdollahian also praised the efforts of Borrell, as well as Enrique Mora, the EU's chief negotiator in Vienna.

He also underlined that the Islamic Republic of Iran's definite choice is to not cross its red lines.

Referring to Iran’s readiness to reach a good agreement with the P4+1 group of countries, he stressed the need for a political decision by the other side.

Amir Abdollahian added that Iran seeks a good agreement, but within the framework of its national interests and in line with its red lines in the negotiations. The Iranian foreign minister also called for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis.

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