Iran’s security chief consults with MPs over Vienna talks

March 2, 2022 - 23:27

TEHRAN — Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary Admiral Ali Shamkhani held a meeting with a number of MPs on Wednesday at the SNSC over the ongoing talks in Vienna, according to reports.

In the extraordinary meeting, the latest developments regarding the lifting of sanctions in the talks were explained.

The representatives present at the meeting were briefed about the process of the new round of talks in Ebrahim Raisi’s government and the existing developments and challenges, as well as the main priorities on the agenda of the Iranian negotiating team.

The SNSC secretary stressed the need to quickly resolve some remaining issues in the negotiations on which no agreement has yet been reached, stating, “The bitter experiences of U.S. and the Europeans’ inaction have made it inevitable to meet the requirements of a credible, balanced and lasting agreement.”

Shamkhani emphasized, “The main strategy of the country, along with trying to lift sanctions, is to focus on creating mechanisms to neutralize the sanctions, and fortunately, very good measures have been taken in this regard.”

The MPs present at the meeting stressed the need for the Iranian negotiating team to continue efforts to restore the nation's lost rights in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), the official name for the 2015 nuclear agreement. 

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson 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 on 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 participating in the Vienna talks directly. Iran has said it will not sit at the negotiating table with the U.S. so long as Washington does not return to the multilateral agreement. European Union coordinator Enrique Mora and the remaining members act as intermediary between Iran and the U.S.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman underscored that since the U.S. was the party that quit the historic accord, Tehran needed to make sure that the it 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.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani returned to Vienna on Sunday night to resume the talks. He had returned to Tehran for consultations.

Mora said on Feb. 22 that that the talks have reached a “crucial moment”, suggesting it is necessary to fix “key issues”.

Mora said after ten months of negotiations the “result is still uncertain”. However, he said negotiators from Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany, France and the U.S. are engaged in intensive talks in the Palais Coburg.

Negotiations to revive the nuclear deal started in April last year. The talks started after U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration is willing to rejoin the nuclear deal abandoned by his predecessor Donald Trump.

“#JCPOA #ViennaTalks are at a crucial moment. We are nearing the end after ten months of negotiations. The result is still uncertain. Key issues need to be fixed. But all delegations are fully engaged. Intense work in Coburg,” Mora wrote on his Twitter account.


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