Iran ready to forge ahead with talks

July 6, 2022 - 21:42

TEHRAN – Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdul Rahman visited Tehran on Wednesday amid growing U.S. diplomatic pressure on Iran to sign a deal that would not fully serve its long-term interests. 

The visit came after Sheikh Mohammad held a phone conversation with his American counterpart Tony Blinken in which the two sides discussed the situation around the talks over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In Tehran, the foreign ministers of both Iran and Qatar remarked about the latest situation around the JCPOA. Sheikh Mohammad said it is important that constructive efforts be made to conclude the JCPOA. He expressed support for any negotiations aimed at reaching a fair agreement that addresses the concerns of all parties. 

On the other hand, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, speaking at a joint presser with Sheikh Mohammad, said Iran is determined to reach a “good, strong, and lasting” agreement.

He noted that unlike what America claims in the media, Iran did not pursue any excessive demands. “Our demands are completely within the framework of the 2015 deal,” he said. He indicated that Iran will reject anything that will prevent Iran from reaping economic benefits from the deal. 

Iran and the U.S. recently held indirect talks in Doha mediated by the European Union. After the Doha talks, the U.S. accused Iran of pursuing demands beyond the JCPOA. Rob Malley, the U.S. lead negotiator, said the Doha talks were a “wasted occasion.”

“The European Union, in its role as coordinator, wanted to try one more effort, at least one more effort, and so they invited both delegations to meet with them in Doha in the hope that the Iranians would show something, some willingness to get to yes. But they seem, at this point, not capable of providing an answer. And so it was a little bit of a - well, more than a little bit of a wasted occasion, I'd say,” He told NPR. “They have and, including in Doha, added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal.”

Amir Abdollahian has rejected that, saying that Iran focused in Doha on the guarantees that the U.S. should provide. “In the recent talks in Doha, one of the main issues we focused on is the issue of effective guarantees from the U.S. in the field of anything that would affect Iran's full economic benefit from the JCPOA,” the Iranian foreign minister said. “Therefore, our demand is not excessive, but in the way of obtaining guarantees, the United States must commit that the Islamic Republic of Iran will enjoy the full benefits of the 2015 agreement.”

The U.S., however, does not seem ready to meet the Iranian demands. Instead, they have resorted to the media blame game and diplomatic pressure. Over the past few days, they seemingly pushed a number of foreign officials to press Iran on taking the deal on the table now. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Oman’s Foreign Minister Badr al-Busaidi, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, and the Qatari foreign minister all have spoken with Iran about the nuclear deal. But Iran’s response was clear: The U.S. needs to provide credible guarantees that it will respect the deal and fulfill its commitments. So far, Iran has not received such guarantees and the conclusion of the nuclear talks depends on the United States. Iran is ready to continue talks until the U.S. makes a decision in that regard. 


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