Spokesman: No Direct, Indirect Talks with US in Vienna
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that the country’s negotiators do not hold direct or indirect talks with the US representatives in Vienna, adding that no progress has yet been made about Iran’s loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“In Vienna, we have no direct or indirect talks with the US. The US government knows better than anyone that Iran has adopted all (remedial) measures within the framework of the nuclear deal’s parameters and will stop them when the US lifts all sanctions and we can verify it,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
Asked about starting 60% enrichment of uranium by Iran, he said that the measure has been adopted in response to the recent terrorist attack at the Iranian nuclear installations in Natanz.
Khatibzadeh also said that the Vienna talks have progressed in the correct direction so far, and added, “We are on the right track and progress has been made, but it is not as if we have reached the final stage. We tried to present our texts and called on the other side to quickly study the common texts and instances. The sooner this happens, the better we can think about the outcome. It's too early to think about it. We are now at a stage where discussions on difficult issues need to take place.”
He, meantime, said that the two negotiating sides in Vienna talks have not yet reached an agreement on the grant of the IMF loan demanded by Tehran after the coronavirus outbreak, stressing that no new agreement beside the nuclear deal will be made.
Iran’s Permanent Representative and Envoy to the Vienna-based International Organizations Kazzem Qaribabadi said on Sunday that the ongoing talks between Tehran and the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) in Vienna are aimed at clearing the path for the removal of US sanctions against Iran.
"What is being pursued and discussed in Vienna is to create a clear picture of the lifting of sanctions," Qaribabadi said.
"Identifying and listing sanctions lifting measures is necessary for this transparency, as well as assessing the seriousness of the US in its claim to return and full adherence to the JCPOA and its compliance with the declared policy of the country," he added.
"The basis for negotiating team is also based on the principles set by the Leader as the Establishment's policy in this regard," Qaribabadi said.
"The Vienna negotiating delegation regularly reports the results of the talks to senior officials of Iran for review and decision-making," he added.
Iran and the remaining signatories to 2015 nuclear deal are meeting in Vienna to try to remove the unilateral US sanctions imposed by former president Donald Trump three years ago after he abandoned the international accord.
The US is not allowed to participate in the discussions, but its representatives are reportedly held abreast of the negotiations down the hall by the Europeans.
The new talks come after an incident was reported at a part of the power network of the Natanz nuclear facility on April 11.
The incident at the power distribution network of Shahid Ahmadi Roshan facility in Natanz has been blamed on Israel. While Tel Aviv officials have made implicit confession of the terrorist attack, the Israeli state and private media have acknowledged Mossad's leading role in the attack.
Iranian officials have vowed retaliation against perpetrators, specially Israel.
Qaribabadi at the time slammed Israel as the main culprit behind the recent incident in Natanz nuclear facility, adding that the act of sabotage will not stop enrichment activities in the complex.
“The full responsibility for this act of sabotage lies with the Zionist regime of Israel and its supporters,” Qaribabadi said in a televised interview, adding the damaged IR-1 centrifuges would be replaced in no time with others capable of 50 percent more enrichment capacity.
He stressed that the latest generation of homegrown centrifuges would also be set up in the nuclear facility in the near future.
In a first move to show Iran's hardening stance in reaction to the Sunday terrorist attack on Natanz nuclear facility, the country declared on Tuesday that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) will initiate preparatory steps to start enriching uranium to the 60% purity level.
"Upon an order by the President, the AEOI has been required to launch 60-percent uranium enrichment line under Article 1 of the Parliament Law on 'Strategic Action to Remove Sanctions' and protect the Iranian nation's interests," AEOI Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told FNA last Tuesday night.
He further added that the International Atomic Energy Agency has been informed of Iran's plan, and pointed out that the 60-percent enriched uranium is used in the production of Molybdenum to be used for the production of different types of radiomedicine, with applications in the treatment of patients including those with cardiac problems.
Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said last Friday the country is producing 9 grams of uranium with 60% level of enrichment per hour.
“Currently, 9 grams of 60% enriched uranium is being produced per hour and 20% enriched uranium will also be produced at the same time, Salehi said.
The AEOI Chief stressed that the Iranian scientists’ success to achieve 60% enrichment “was a great step to implement parliament’s law approved in December to counter sanctions.”
"We can produce uranium with any level of purity if needed", he emphasized.