Iran’s Top Negotiator: Main Differences Still Remain in Vienna Talks
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and top negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that the main differences between Iran and the Group 4+1 (Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) still remain in place, adding that the delegations will return to their capitals for decision-making.
“The main differences have remained. Some issues have been resolved and some issues still remain, but it has come to be precise now and it is quite clear what the dimensions of these differences are,” Araqchi said in an interview with the state TV before the last round of meeting with the G4+1 representatives before leaving Vienna.
"I think time has come for the other parties to make their decision because the stage for negotiations and a possible agreement is fully clear. They have to make their own decisions and it is now clear in what areas, what is possible and what is not possible. It is time for all parties, specially the other parties, to make their final decision," he added.
"For a few days, which I cannot now say exactly how many, we will stop the talks and return to the capitals not only for further consultations but also for decision-making,” Araqchi said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said last Monday that some technical, legal and political issues have still remained to be resolved in Vienna talks between Tehran and the Group 4+1, adding that Washington should provide Iran with assurances that it would not repeat Trump’s disrespect for the nuclear accord.
“The US should make its own decision. The US should know that it is the wrongdoer and violator of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and it is present in the negotiations from the position of a wrongdoer, and it should provide the necessary assurances that it would not repeat what happened under Trump. The way back is quite clear to us,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
He also dismissed speculations that the talks have turned into talks of attrition or the negotiators are killing time, and said, “We have very little time in Vienna for the remaining issues. The remaining issues require political decisions, and if the [needed] decision is made in Washington and the capitals, there will be a return to the nuclear deal.”
Khatibzadeh noted that certain technical, legal and political issues have still remained unresolved, saying that there is no stalemate and the talks are proceeding normally.
“The delegations will return to Tehran (and other capitals) and after that we can say whether the next round will be the last or not,” he added.
Araqchi underlined last week 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.
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.
“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.”
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.