Top Negotiator Praises Rayeesi's Foreign Policy Strategy as "Realistic", "Pragmatic"
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and top negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi described Presidential hopeful Ebrahim Rayeesi's foreign policy strategy as "Realistic" and "Pragmatic", saying that Rayeesi's stances during the presidential campaign showed his policies are based on cooperation with the international community and constructive economic interaction.
"Mr. Rayeesi's positions in area of foreign policy, as expressed during the election campaign, reflect a realistic and pragmatic policy based on cooperation with the international community and constructive economic interaction. His positions on the nuclear deal and the ongoing negotiations also reflect the same realism and pragmatism in foreign policy. I am certain that if he is elected, there will be no disruption in the negotiation process," Araqchi told al-Jazeera TV on Wednesday.
He added that the Iranian negotiating team will continue talks based on the country’s national policy and interests.
Araqchi stated that if the Iranian team managed to clinch a good agreement with the other parties that serve the country's national interests, it would be accepted; otherwise, no agreement would be accepted by Iran either under the incumbent administration or its successor.
Iranians began voting in the early hours of Friday in a contest among 4 candidates in the 13th presidential elections and also for the 6th Islamic city and village council elections across the country.
State television showed people's presence at polling stations in several cities and towns, quoting officials that over 59 million Iranians out of the more than 85 million population are eligible to vote. The elections are also for city and village councils.
For Iranians, the most pressing domestic issue is the economy. In addition, COVID-19 is still a serious problem for Iran.
Rayeesi appears to be the front-runner among the four candidates running for president in Iran, according to the polls.
Araqchi also said that the participating delegations have made tangible progress in negotiations.
“Good and tangible progress has been made on various issues during Vienna talks. We believe that we are closer to a [final] agreement than any time before, but there are still certain outstanding issues, which need more deliberation,” Araqchi said.
Iran’s top negotiator said all sides should take tough decisions, noting that Tehran has already made this difficult decision by remaining committed to the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the withdrawal of the United States from it.
“If the nuclear deal is still alive, it has been owed to Iran's actions,” Araqchi said.
“The negotiating parties need to know that Iran has been victimized, and that Washington needs to rectify the path it has already taken in the negotiations,” he said, adding, “Iran has suffered a lot in recent years due to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.”
Iran's top negotiator noted that the Islamic Republic wants other parties to the deal to affirm that what happened with (former US President Donald) Trump's withdrawal from the deal would never happen under other US presidents.
Araqchi had underlined that on Sunday 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.
“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).Araqchi had also earlier said that a number of key issues still remain to be settled between Iran and the Group 4+1 in Vienna talks, stressing that the other side should take difficult decisions to revive the nuclear deal.
“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.”
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.