Official: No Agreement Possible in Vienna without Meeting Iran's Key Demands
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian deputy foreign minister and top negotiator in Vienna talks Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined that Tehran will certainly not agree on anything before seeing its key demands are met.
"The sixth round of talks began with a joint commission meeting and it was decided to speed up the work," Araqchi told reporters in Vienna.
"We are facing a complex situation because the return of the United States to the JCPOA has a number of technical, legal, and political issues, and the verification of US actions is complex. It must be planned and an indicator should be set for it," he added.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Araqchi said that a number of key issues still remain to be settled between Iran and the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) in Vienna talks, stressing that the other side should take difficult decisions to revive the nuclear deal.
“All in all, we made good progress, but there are issues left [unresolved], without which an agreement couldn’t be reached, and which have yet to be decided,” Araqchi told reporters at the end of the fifth round of talks between Iran and G4+1 group of countries on revitalizing the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It is not us but…the signatories to the JCPOA and the United States that must…take their own difficult decisions and adapt themselves to the positions of the Islamic Republic,” he said, adding, “If this happens, we can naturally reach an agreement. Otherwise, we will either have no agreement or hold more consultations.”
Following 10 days of intensive talks, the negotiating delegations concluded that they needed to return to their capitals once again for almost week-long consultations, the Iranian diplomat said, adding that this round of negotiations was not halted but was just adjourned in order to reach better conclusions about the remaining unsolved issues.
“Nothing can be predicted in diplomatic negotiations by 100 percent. Rationally, the next round of talks could be the final one,” he said.
He added that the five parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – and the United States had to make their “difficult decisions” and adapt their positions to those of Iran.
“It is important that we have held several discussions about the main points of difference. There are solutions to each of them, which should be discussed and the best one should be selected,” Araqchi said.
He once again insisted on the country’s “definitive positions” which had not been changed and stressed the importance of adopting strategies for the US return to the JCPOA and the fulfillment of its obligations as per the deal as well as Iran’s assumption of commitments after verifying Washington’s moves “in a way agreed upon by the two sides and in a way that it would serve our interests.”
He said the negotiating teams have completed drafting texts pertaining to different parts of the talks and are making their stances closer “almost in most of the texts…but there are some key issues, which the [two] sides have yet to decide.”
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.