Amir Abdollahian, Lavrov stress speedy resuscitation of JCPOA

February 8, 2022 - 22:23

TEHRAN — On Tuesday evening, at the initiative of the Iranian side, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov had a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

The parties exchanged views on the results of the Iranian president’s successful visit to Moscow and spoke in favor of building up further cooperation in all areas on the basis of the presidents’ agreements.

The situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program was discussed in the context of the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to restore the full implementation of the deal. The ministers spoke in favor of a speedy resuscitation of the JCPOA in its initially balanced configuration that is approved by the United Nations Security Council.

Regional issues were also touched upon in the phone call. 

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, said late on Tuesday that sanctions removal should include all sectors.

“Economic & technological capacities of the country have an integrated structure & lifting of sanctions should be same for all sectors. Previous experience has shown that without effective lifting of sanctions, sustainable economic benefits from #JCPOA are like an illusion,” Shamkhani tweeted.

As negotiators from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries returned to Vienna on Tuesday, talks are expected to enter a consequential phase that requires political decisions on the part of the West, especially the United States.

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, briefed Iranian lawmakers sitting on the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the outcome of the talks during the hiatus. During the meeting, Bagheri Kani assessed the talks as “forward-moving” and “positive,” according to lawmakers who attended the briefing. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh echoed the same assessment at his weekly presser on Monday. He said the talks have made significant progress.

“We had remarkable progress in various spheres including the issue of guarantees on which some ideas have been raised and written,” he said. 

According to Khatibzadeh, the framework of a deal has been laid out and its prospect is very clear. 

At issue are a number of important points such as the guarantees that Iran is demanding the U.S. to provide and verification measures Iran says Washington needs to undertake in case a deal is reached in Vienna. 

Iran has said it needs guarantees from the U.S. that it won’t renege on its commitments again after it reenters the 2015 nuclear deal. 

Iran also seeks to obtain a right to verify the lifting of U.S. sanctions. 

Reportedly, during the past rounds of talks, significant progress have been made on guarantees and verifications, though still some issues remain to settled. 

As regards sanctions and nuclear measures, some issues remain unresolved and that’s because there is a need for political decisions. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Monday that some of Iran’s demands regarding sanctions have not yet been addressed. But he said Iran will continue to work optimistically and in good faith to reach a good and swift agreement.

But Amir Abdollahian said some of Iran’s demands for sanctions removal have not yet been met.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with Pekka Haavisto, his Finnish counterpart on Monday, Iran’s top diplomat responded to a question about the ongoing negotiations in Vienna.

He said that during the past ten days intensive meetings have been held to review recent texts obtained from the Vienna negotiations.

“We focused on the latest texts as a result of Iran’s negotiations with the 4+1 group and the non-papers exchanged through Mr. Mora,” Amir Abdollahian said.

“We hope to reach a final agreement at this stage. Whether we can lead the ongoing talks into a fair agreement in the coming days now depends on the initiatives, intentions and behavior of the three European countries and the American side,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

He went on to emphasize that the efforts of the Iranian delegation will continue in order to reach a fair and balanced agreement.