Iran: Break in Vienna talks was made at EU request

March 13, 2022 - 21:55

TEHRAN — On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman touched on some important developments in the field of foreign policy.

Speaking to reporters, Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the Foreign Ministry was not shocked by the sudden break in the ongoing negotiations in Vienna. 

“I do not use the word shocked. Negotiations are in their last days and therefore have difficult days. The recent break in the talks was made at the request of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) Coordinator, Enrique Mora,” he said.

“The reason is that some of the points raised in Vienna required consultations in the capitals, especially in European capitals. In addition, although we have summarized the major clauses, there are still two or three main clauses between Iran and the United States that need to be resolved,” he noted. 

The delegations have returned to review the matter and will return to Vienna in a few days to continue their work, the spokesman told the media. 

In response to a question about the duration of the break, the spokesman said that the EU coordinator must announce how long the break time will last because the pause has been made at his request.

“We hope that with the announcement of the coordinator, the delegations will return to Vienna sooner,” he said. 

Khatibzadeh said that from the point of view of the coordinator and the Europeans, how much of the agreement has been reached is debatable, but the other issue is that for both Iran and the United States, some small but important issues remain, and the U.S. must make the necessary decision on the remaining issues. 

“There is also an issue about the text that has not been finalized. In addition, the issue of Russia's request is a new development in which Moscow has announced new guarantees and a new component has been added to the negotiations and new conditions have been created,” he noted. 

Referring to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s tweet about the break in the Vienna talks due to the “external factors,” Khatibzadeh said, “Of course, you have to ask Mr. Borrell about the external factors, because Russia, which is a member of the JCPOA, is an internal factor from this point of view. I said that no external factor will be able to overshadow our collective decision.”

Referring to the importance of the issue of verification for Iran during the Vienna talks, the spokesman said, "We are now at a point where our problems in this area have almost been resolved."

He added that the verification is to make sure that the Americans have lifted the sanctions in practice, and it was not only on paper. 

“In the same context, representatives of the Oil Ministry, Economy Ministry, and the Central Bank of Iran were also present during the Vienna talks to discuss the process of this issue and that each part of the country's economy should define verification in its field,” he said.

He added that conversations and debates on the subject of verification have gone back and forth, and the Americans have accepted one thing, while the Iranian delegation has raised another issue.

“Now we are at a point where our problems in this area are almost resolved,” Khatibzadeh said. 

The diplomat also emphasized that Iran has been seeking political, legal, and economic guarantees during the Vienna talks, saying, “This is the dimension that we are still negotiating about to this day.”

Khatibzadeh also said that there had been detailed discussions between the two sides on how to implement the commitments and that they should practice them first, adding, “Another important issue during these talks is the nuclear guarantee and the preservation of nuclear achievements.”

The spokesman continued by saying that Iran has said that it has lost a lot with the withdrawal of the United States from the deal. 

“The Israelis have sabotaged our centrifuges. These are gone, we put IR6 (centrifuges), they said it should be broken, we said we do not do this, we negotiated on these issues,” he said. 

Khatibzadeh concluded by saying that the details of the agreement have not been agreed yet until the day it is agreed. 

“When it is agreed, we will put the text on the site for everyone to see,” he noted. 

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