Tehran willing to strike agreement, but won’t wait forever, Foreign Ministry says

March 1, 2022 - 22:9

TEHRAN- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson has reacted to United States’ officials “bluffs and blusters” in regard to the Vienna talks intended to restore the 2015 deal, saying Tehran is eager to reach an accord through dialogue but “will not wait forever”.

Saeed Khatibzadeh made the remark in a tweet early Tuesday after U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price indicated Washington was prepared to pull out of the Vienna negotiations if Iran demonstrated "intransigence to making progress."

The United States is not a participant to the Vienna talks since it is no longer a signatory to the 2015 deal, but it has sent a delegation to the Austrian capital to monitor the proceedings.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman underscored that because the U.S. was the party that withdrew from the historic accord, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran needed to make sure that the U.S. would not renege on its commitments again if the deal is revived.

“U.S. has already ‘walked away’ from JCPOA. We must make sure it won't happen again. Everyone has its own plan B, though US' has proven hollow. Blusters & bluffs have/will not work. Decisions do,” Khatibzadeh remarked.

He added, “A deal is at hand, if White House makes its mind. Iran is willing, but will not wait forever,” he noted.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Monday stated that the Vienna talks intended to lift anti-Iran sanctions have not yet concluded, suggesting it is now up to the U.S. to make the tough decision.

Iran’s top diplomat also said that the current attempts which have been made by the new administration and the negotiating team will continue to reach an agreement through the ongoing talks in Vienna. 

Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna and Moscow’s negotiator at the Vienna talks, tweeted on Monday night indicating considerable progress in the negotiations. He also noted that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

“JCPOA participants met this evening in Palais Coburg in Vienna. Tremendous progress has been made since April 2021, when the talks started. But there is a rule: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The last effort is necessary to conclude Vienna talks successfully,” Ulyanov stressed.

In 2018, the United States unilaterally receded from the internationally-agreed deal known as the JCPOA, reinstating the sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement.

France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Washington's European partners in the agreement, have been strictly toeing the sanctions line by ceasing trade activities with Iran.

The Vienna talks between Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties began in April on the assumption that the U.S., under the Joe Biden administration, is prepared to reverse the so-called “maximum pressure” approach taken by his predecessor Donald Trump against Tehran.

The eighth round of talks to lift the U.S. sanctions kicked off on December 27 and are still underway, but without the direct involvement of the U.S. delegation in Vienna. 

Iran has stated that it will not accept anything less than the complete lifting of all U.S. sanctions in a verifiable way. It also wants assurances that Washington would not withdraw from the accord again.

Iran and the P4+1 are finalizing a draft text of an agreement to restore the 2015 deal. The majority of delegations confirmed that the ongoing talks have reached a critical stage.

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