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Politics
2022-January-17  13:15

Iran: Key Issues in Vienna Talks Need US Political Decisions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that certain important issues have still remained unresolved in Vienna talks between Tehran and the world powers and their solution requires Washington's political resolve and decision-making.

What remained in negotiations are key issues that require the adoption of specific political decisions, specially by the US, Khatibzadeh told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran.

Regarding the latest situation of Vienna talks, he said that the chief negotiators of the delegations have returned to their capitals for a break for more consultations.

What remained in negotiations are key issues that may require special political decisions by the US in particular in order to announce their decisions on the removal of sanctions and remaining issues that some of which are serious, Khatibzadeh added.

Khatibzadeh dismissed Washington’s attempts to set a deadline for the Vienna negotiations to bear fruit, calling it "fabricated".

He said the US would better focus on its Plan A rather than threatening Iran with a Plan B. Days earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said there were only “a few weeks left” to save the 2015 deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We’re very, very short on time,” because “Iran is getting closer and closer to the point where they could produce on very, very short order enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” Blinken claimed.

He added that the US is “looking at other steps, other options” – often seen as a military threat – with allies including in Europe and the Middle East.

In response, Khatibzadeh said a Plan B is “not appealing for any country”.

“Blinken knows better than anyone that every country has a B Plan for itself and that Iran’s Plan B may not be very appealing to them. They need to make every effort to show that they have the necessary will and capacity for a Plan A,” he remarked.

Khatibzadeh said that in the draft texts, “many of the tables and columns are ready and some of the parentheses were omitted”, adding that the negotiators have reached agreements on most ideas, which are currently being turned into written words.

He also urged the US to stop what he termed as its “bullying behavior” and fulfill its international obligations instead. “Significant disagreements remain in Vienna, and the most important one is the insufficient speed of the other sides, especially the United States,” Khatibzadeh said. He added that great progress has also been made “on technical issues, but on the issue of sanctions removal, talks have been subject to political decisions that have been delayed on the other side”.

Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA – Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany – have been holding talks in the Austrian capital since April last year. The focus of the talks has been on the removal of all sanctions that the United States re-imposed on Iran following its withdrawal from the deal.

On Friday evening, the eighth round of the Vienna talks was paused so that the negotiators could return to their respective capitals for consultations. They are expected to return to the negotiating table after two days.

Throughout the talks, Tehran has made clear that the US, as the only country that has left the JCPOA, is responsible for the status quo, and therefore, it needs to take the initial step by removing all of the sanctions that it imposed after withdrawing from the deal in May 2018.

The Islamic Republic has also criticized the US and its European allies for paying lip service to safeguarding Iran’s economic dividends, as foreseen in the JCPOA, and for their unconstructive attitude during the Vienna talks.

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian noted a “contradiction” in the Western parties’ conduct, saying that reaching a “good agreement in the shortest time possible” would only depend on them.

“The conduct of Westerners compared to their statements that they are concerned and are in a hurry shows that there is a contradiction in their behaviors and remarks,” Amir Abdollahian said on Friday, while on a high-profile visit to China.

“I would like to loudly declare that the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes reaching a good agreement as soon as possible, but this would depend on the Western side,” he added.

Amir Abdollahian had also in November in a phone conversation with his German counterpart Heiko Maas blamed Washington for the problems and non-implementation of the nuclear deal.

The US government is the main culprit in creating current situation in JCPOA-related issues, Amir Abdollahian said during the phone talks initiated by Maas.

The US government's withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 and the inaction of three European countries involved in nuclear talks, including Britain, France and Germany, has increased distrust significantly, he added. 

Therefore, complete lifting of sanctions imposed against Iran is a need, Amir Abdollahian underlined.

He also stressed the need for the European parties to refrain from making provocative remarks, noting that use of the language of force and threats by the US on nuclear talks cannot help solve problems and any inaccurate and untrue comments could jeopardize ongoing efforts.

Maas, for his part, said that Berlin understands Iran's distrust of the other sides, adding that Germany will do its best to bring the US back to the JCPOA.