Alleged provision of drones a ‘clumsy excuse’ for freezing Vienna talks: Ulyanov

January 6, 2023 - 23:30

TEHRAN – Mikhail Ulyanov, the permanent representative of Russia to international organizations in Vienna, has criticized the West for putting the Vienna talks over reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on hold under the pretext of Iran’s alleged provision of drones to Russia. 

Ulyanov was commenting on an Al-Monitor report saying that Iran’s alleged support of Russia in the Ukraine war has taken a toll on the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Alleged supplies of drones are a clumsy excuse for freezing (if not killing) the #ViennaTalks on #JCPOA,” Ulyanov said on Twitter.

 He also said that the United States and the three European signatories to the JCPOA – Germany, France, and the UK (E3)- are moving to their “Plan B” on Iran. 

“Looks like the US + E3 have a temptation to move to ‘Plan B’. Big mistake. It’s difficult to expect that such a plan can be a credible option. More likely just a non-starter,” the Russian diplomat added. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recently said that the West is trying to scare the world with the Iranian threat. “The West is trying to scare the world with the Iranian threat, preferring to forget that #JCPOA was perfectly operational until #US suddenly decided to withdraw from the #nucleardeal in violation of its own obligations under #UNSC Res.2231 back in May 2018,” he said, according to a tweet by the Russian foreign ministry.

Earlier, Ulyanov had said that diplomatic efforts to revive the JCPOA are not exhausted yet. “Definitely diplomatic efforts are not exhausted yet (if the relevant political will exists, of course). Any alternative to the JCPOA can have very negative implications for regional security,” he tweeted. 

Also, he said that the ball is in the U.S.’s court. “Recently #Iran confirmed a number of times its readiness to conclude the #ViennaTalks on restoration of #JCPOA and rightly stated that the ball was in the Western court,” he noted. 

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, has announced that talks over the JCPOA are still underway. He pointed out that the Vienna talks are “a continuous process which has not stopped.”

“The point that there is not much media work in this regard, means things are followed up seriously… The methods may have changed, but the process yet continues,” he added. 

In response to assertions made by Germany and the United States that they do not regard the JCPOA discussions and are not focused on these issues, Bagheri Kani emphasized that the talks have been a continuous process, and their ways may have altered.

In late December, Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), stated that the United States, not Iran, had imposed new terms on the JCPOA talks.

Eslami said that the U.S. is now signaling its desire for continuing negotiations in a variety of ways.

He asserted that it is unacceptable to conclude the negotiations while leaving fresh things open for putting pressure on the Iranian people and re-imposing sanctions on them.

The major difficulty in the JCPOA discussions is political and based on "the engine of maximum pressure," such that Americans are occasionally duped and fall into the trap of Zionists and fanatics, and these ups and downs are always theirs, according to Eslami.

In order for the negotiations to continue, he suggested, the opposite side had to stop hatching schemes, wreaking havoc, and imposing sanctions.

The Vienna talks have come to a pause, though Iran and the European Union continue discussions on the matter. 

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