Iranian Speaker: US Defending Israel’s Interests in Vienna Talks
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said on Tuesday that Washington is not serious about removing the sanctions to return to the nuclear deal and is, rather, defending Israel’s interests during the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
“The US is present in Vienna talks to meet the Zionist regime’s interests and does not intend to remove all sanctions,” Qalibaf was quoted by senior MP Vali Esmalyeeli as saying in a closed-door internal meeting of the legislators.
Representatives of Iran and the US are in Vienna to discuss revival of the nuclear deal in separate talks with the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany). Iran has underlined that it would not take part in any direct meeting with the US delegation, and reiterated that Washington is needed to remove all sanctions lifted by the nuclear deal as well as those that have been imposed, reimposed or relabeled after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action went into force under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump as well as present White House leader Joe Biden.
Qalibaf had last Sunday reiterated his country’s position that all US sanctions against Tehran should be lifted before reversing the remedial measures by Iran.
“In today's (closed-door) meeting (of the parliament), Parliament Speaker Mr. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf stated that there are four redlines in the Vienna talks that should be considered,” member of the parliament’s Presiding Board Alireza Salimi quoted Qalibaf as saying.
“The speaker said that the first redline is lifting of sanctions, including those discussed in the nuclear deal and the sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump, and all these sanctions should be lifted,” he told FNA.
Salimi added that the next redline stressed by Qalibaf is Iran’s verification of the removal of the sanctions, quoting the speaker as saying that no talks will be held with the US before removal of all sanctions.
“Mr. Qalibaf stated that the fourth redline is the laws passed by the parliament and the declared policies that should be observed in the negotiations,” he said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Friday that the Vienna talks are not about a new round of bargaining, stressing that the US should know that bargaining ended in July 2015.
“Washington must know that the new round of nuclear talks in Vienna is not a ground for another round of bargaining,” Khatibzadeh said on Friday, adding that bargaining ended in 2015 when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was inked between Iran and G5+1.
“Now is the time for President Biden to make a political decision to either … stick to the Trump administration's failed legacy or to distance itself from that policy and to commit to the nuclear deal that President Obama signed,” he noted.
The spokesman went on to say that Iran is trying to use all capacities in the agreement to revive it.
The US, under former president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the agreement and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, which the accord had lifted.
The Trump administration subsequently launched what it touted as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force the Islamic Republic to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Also, last week, Khatibzadeh said the country’s negotiating team is in no rush in the nuclear talks, but they won’t let the attrition talks either.
“The Iranian negotiating team is in no hurry in the talks, they perform their mission seriously and tactfully and at the same time, they won’t allow the talks become exhausting and protracted,” the spokesman said in reference to the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and G4+1 in Vienna.
He clarified Iran’s principled policy in the Vienna talks, stressing that the text of the JCPOA must be implemented word by word.