Iran’s chief negotiator to return to Austrian capital as JCPOA relaunch talks enter crucial phase


Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, will return to the Austrian capital Vienna to continue the eighth round of talks with senior representatives of the five remaining parties to the 2015 Iran deal on resolving remaining issues relating to to relaunch the agreement.

Bagheri Kani, who visited Tehran last week for a short stay as part of regular trips to the capital, will return to Vienna on Sunday evening to continue negotiations “on the basis of a clear agenda with the aim to sort out the issues on the way to reaching an agreement,” IRNA reported.

During its last session, the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) discussed the results of the last round of the Vienna talks, stressing the importance of ensuring the legal and rational demands of the Islamic Republic based on the red lines from the country, Nournews, a site close to the town hall reported Sunday.

He added that the council also stressed “the need to quickly resolve the remaining issues that put the negotiations on the border between the agreement and the impasse”, while stressing that the acceptance of any agreement depends on the resolution of the issues. outstanding.

The United States unilaterally left the landmark agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 and reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted under the agreement. Washington’s European allies in the deal – France, Germany and the United Kingdom – have toed the sanctions line closely by ending their business activities with Iran.

The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the five remaining JCPOA parties – Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – assuming the United States, under the administration Joe Biden, are prepared to repeal the so-called political maximum pressure led by former President Donald Trump.

Tehran says it will settle for nothing less than the removal of all US sanctions in a verifiable manner. He also wants guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

In a phone call on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that the Islamic Republic was seeking a good deal in the talks. underway in the Austrian capital, but was determined not to cross its red lines.

“It is the final decision of the Islamic Republic not to cross its red lines” during the talks in Vienna, underlined the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks came days after Iran’s chief negotiator said in a tweet that the Vienna talks were about to end, warning there was no guarantee that negotiators will be able to cross the “finish line” without “certain decisions” from the West.

“Being close to the finish line is no guarantee of crossing it. It takes extra caution, a lot of perseverance, extra creativity and a balanced approach to take the final step,” he said, adding: “To finish the job, there are certain decisions that our Western interlocutors must take”.

“Iran does not accept any delay for an agreement from any country”

Also on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the Islamic Republic does not accept any timeframe for reviving the JCPOA during ongoing talks in Vienna.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, speaking to the IRIB news agency, was reacting to claims by some Western media that Washington had set a deadline for reaching an agreement at the talks in Vienna.

“So far, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not accepted any delay from any country,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Asked about his optimism about reaching an agreement between Iran and the opposing side, Khatibzadeh said: “More than talking about optimism or pessimism in our negotiations, we must be realistic.

“Right now, we are at a point where the talks in Vienna need a new political decision from the United States and other Western parties,” he added.

“If the opposing parties respect the reasonable and legitimate red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran and make political decisions, they can be sure that the finalization of an agreement will be possible in the shortest possible time.”

Khatibzadeh also stressed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should end its “politically motivated” claims on the issue of the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

“We have responded to questions from the agency (IAEA) or even politically motivated assertions that we believe are unfounded about our certain actions taken by our country. This case should be closed,” he said.

Khatibzadeh added that the so-called PMD should not be used by the IAEA as a tool of political pressure against Iran while others should not make the mistake of using it to bring the Islamic Republic under pressure.

P4+1 awaiting finalization of agreement on restoration of JCPOA: Russia

In a related development on Sunday, the head of Russia’s negotiating team Mikhail Ulyanov said in a post on his Twitter account that the remaining five parties to the JCPOA are waiting to finalize an agreement with Iran on reinstating the deal.

He noted that representatives of the P4+1 group of countries had held “informal consultations within the framework of the Vienna talks”.

“We are awaiting the return of Iran’s chief negotiator, Dr. A. Bagheri Kani, to Vienna from Tehran to finalize the agreement on the restoration of the JCPOA,” the senior Russian diplomat tweeted.

The United States is not directly engaged in the Vienna talks process because it is no longer a party to the JCPOA.

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