Iran chief negotiator arrives in Vienna

December 27, 2021 - 20:56

TEHRAN – Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Ali Bagheri Kani, who leads the Iranian negotiating team at Vienna talks, arrived in the Austrian capital for a consequential round of talks aimed at discussing ways to remove U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Bagheri Kani is scheduled to leave for the Coburg Hotel in the next few hours for diplomatic consultations before the meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), state news agency IRNA reported on Monday morning. 

The meeting of the Joint Commission of JCPOA is set to be held on Monday afternoon at the level of the heads of the P4+1 negotiating delegations, the European Union and Iran.

In this round, they are supposed to discuss the content of the texts and the roadmap for reviving the 2015 agreement, IRNA said. But the success of this round depends on tough political decisions, especially by the European parties, which did not play a very constructive role in the previous round, the news agency added. 

The European parties are expected to come to the negotiating table more seriously in the forthcoming talks and take practical steps to fulfill their commitments by avoiding media propaganda.

In the last round of negotiations, Bagheri stated, “If the other side accepts the views and logical positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the talks of the new round can be the last round of negotiations and we can reach an agreement in the shortest time.”

On Sunday, a source close to Iran's negotiation team in Vienna talks said the country would not fall into the trap of “factitious deadlines” that could be set by the 2015 deal's other members, Press TV reported.

Quoted by IRNA on Sunday, the source said the Iranian team sought to stage a “powerful and well-prepared” presence in the talks, and “would stay in the Austrian capital as long as it is needed to.”

The previous rounds of the talks featured discussion about “general issues,” the source said, adding that the upcoming talks were expected to focus on contents of a potential agreement.

"If the opposite side is [likewise] prepared to discuss the contents, we can [all] move forward," the source noted.

"Iran is committed to conclusion of a good agreement in the shortest possible time space, but no factitious deadlines [that could be set by the counterparty] would serve to change the country's redlines," it said, asserting, "There is no emergency situation for us in the talks."

The progress that was made concerning the nuclear issues during the previous round of the talks indicates Iran's seriousness about interaction, the source pointed out, adding, “Now, it is the opposite sides' turn to show their good will as regards the issue of the sanctions.”

Also, an informed source told IRNA that France sought to throw a wrench into the Vienna talks during the latest round. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source told IRNA news agency that the French negotiating team did not play a “constructive” role in the negotiations and that it significantly slowed down the pace of talks by throwing a wrench in the process.

“The presence of French representatives at the G7 foreign ministers' summit in Liverpool and their two-day absence at a time when delegations in Vienna were working on the drafts in the previous round of negotiations led to significant progress. However, after their return from Liverpool, a disruptive trend started again,” he said.

“The drafts had reached an acceptable level [of agreement], but following the return of the French envoys from the Liverpool conference and their expression of opposition to the drafts, the course of the talks was disrupted. This gave rise to certain arguments in the internal meeting of the P4+1 countries.”