Blame game starts early on Doha talks

July 1, 2022 - 21:10

TEHRAN— In a joint effort to portray the first round of indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Doha as “a failure,” the Western media has launched a heavy blame game to show Iran and the negotiating team as a culprit. But what is the truth?

The Doha talks officially began on Tuesday with a meeting between Iran’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and Enrique Mora, the European Union coordinator who conveys messages between Iran and the United States. The talks continued on Wednesday as well, and concluded on Wednesday night. Although it was agreed that the first round of talks would be conducted in two days, the Western media and their agents started propagating that the Doha talks were an absolute failure, painting gloomy pictures and casting doubt on the next possible round of indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. 

In this regard, on Wednesday evening the new Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani tweeted, “Intensive talks were held in Doha on Tuesday and Wednesday with EU deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora being the mediator, as the sanctions removal negotiations continued. Iran put forth its operational views and proposals regarding the remaining issues and the other side had its own considerations. As always, Bagheri and Mora will be in touch over continuing down this path and the next stage of the negotiations.”

The tweet clearly indicated that the talks were initially planned for two days. Being unable to plant seeds of despair, their blame game took another twist. 

“As time goes by, the chances of a deal diminish quite rapidly,” a senior U.S. official told Laurence Norman, the Wall Street Journal correspondent in Brussels. 

The unnamed U.S. official continued, “Based on what happened during the last 48 hours, it's hard to see what benefit another round of such talks would have.”

“We didn't need to come to Doha to hear this list of complaints or demands that have nothing to do with the JCPOA,” the official said. “Of course, we are always open to consider what the EU suggests as a next step and we welcome their efforts. But the lesson we draw from this round of talks is not that another one will get us any closer or that it is the answer to the impasse that we are currently in.”

The Western media then tried to cling on to Mora’s tweet, noting that the talks were a letdown. 

On Wednesday, Mora tweeted, “Two intense days of proximity talks in Doha on #JCPOA. Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had hoped-for. We will keep working with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability @JosepBorrellF.” 

Even by reading this tweet, one can infer that the EU hoped for a breakthrough, but it did not achieve it. However, let’s keep in mind that progress, no matter how small, is progress. Mora did not completely rule out the talks being positive in his tweet, therefore, the Western media’s inference is hasty. 

This comes while in a Wednesday phone call between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his Qatari counterpart, the Qatari top diplomat hailed the first round of talks as “constructive and forward-looking,” according to the Iranian foreign ministry readout of the phone call. 

During the same conversation, Amir Abdollahian assessed the Doha talks as “positive”.

“I stress that we are ready to reach a good, robust and lasting deal, and if the U.S. acts realistically, an agreement is at hand,” the chief diplomat reiterated for what it seems to be the hundredth time. 

However, in a Thursday meeting of the United Nations Security Council meeting, the ambassadors of the United States, UK, France, Germany and other Washington’s friends repeated their hollow and baseless claims against Iran’s intentions, claiming that Iran does not want the JCPOA to be revived. 

In the same meeting, Iran’s ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi outlined Tehran’s positions and what has been done in the most perfect manner. 

“Iran's nuclear ‘escalation’ is a remedial measure meant to compel U.S., UK and other JCPOA participants to abide by their obligations, the violation of which in fact undermined international peace and security and the non-proliferation regime,” Takht Ravanchi noted, adding, “Our negotiating team is ready to engage constructively again to conclude and reach a deal. The ball is in U.S. court and if the U.S. acts realistically and shows its serious intention to implement its obligations, the agreement is not out of reach.”

According to the Iranian envoy to the UN, Tehran agreed to hold indirect talks with Washington through the EU in order to overcome “the last hurdles in the talks.”

“We were sincere in the Doha talks that were serious and positive. As in the past, we will be in touch with the EU coordinator for the next stage of the talks,” he noted.

“In the course of the Vienna talks, we exercised maximum flexibility and showed good faith in order to reach an agreement acceptable to all and even introduced innovative solutions to the remaining issues with the hope to break the impasse. However, the United States' unrealistic and rigid approach has led to the current stalemate. We are continuing our remedial measures because other parties' non-performance of commitments continues, sanctions remain in full force, the maximum pressure policy is still being pursued, and our people's sufferings continue.

Nonetheless, as soon as other parties fulfill all of their obligations in a complete, effective, and verifiable manner, Iran will immediately reverse all of its steps. However, the sufferings of our people as a result of other parties failing to perform their commitments are nearly completely irreversible,” he added.

Prior to Takht Ravanchi’s statement, UN Under-Secretary General Rosemary Anne Di Carlo called on the U.S. to remove the sanctions imposed on Iran, which are consistent with the JCPOA. The same position was addressed by Antonio Guterres in his 13th report on the assessment of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. 

“I again call upon the United States to also lift or waive its sanctions as outlined in the Plan and to extend the waivers with regard to the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Guterres highlighted.

Let’s not forget that the same gloomy picture was drawn by Western media on November 29, when Bagheri led Iran in the 7th round of the Vienna talks. They spoke of an abysmal failure, yet the talks proceeded in a satisfying manner, despite the wrench-throwing of the Israeli regime and its allies. 

Iran has been perfectly clear in Doha. The White House can take Iran’s initiatives or leave them. 

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