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2022-January-19  13:35

Participants in Vienna Talks Working on 4 Texts

TEHRAN (FNA)- Negotiators and experts from Iran and the world powers participating in the Vienna talks on removal of the US sanctions are now working on 4 texts, including a main text and three annexes.

Iran and the Group4+1 (Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) are currently working on four texts, one of which is called "decision text" and the other three are annexes that deal with the implementation of possible agreement.

Iran and the G4+1 negotiators are currently working on four texts, the main text of which is called "decision draft" that contains the key areas to agree on in principle.

The third working group on implementation (sequencing) is also writing the main draft.

The main draft has three annexes, the first of which deals with the removal of sanctions and details the US lifting of sanctions against Iran. This draft is also being written by the working group that is working on the removal of sanctions.

This text has three components, the first of which deals with the removal of sanctions and explains in detail the obligations of the US to lift sanctions against Iran. This draft is also being written by the working group on the lifting of sanctions 

The second draft is related to Iran’s nuclear commitments and the halt to the remedial measures taken after the illegal US withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018. The working group that is formed by parties to work on nuclear issues is in charge of writing the related draft.

Moreover, the third draft also refers to implementation of the commitments by different parties and the measures that need to be taken by them to implement the agreement. 

The third working group on implementation (sequencing) is working on drafting this document as well.

In relevant remarks on Tuesday, senior political and foreign policy analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm said that Iran is after different types of assurances from the US and the EU in the talks underway in Vienna in a bid to ensure the merits of the nuclear deal, adding that the requested insurance program entails nuclear, trade, legal and political guarantees.

Reflecting to a report released in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘Iran demands legal pledge that the US will not quit nuclear deal again’, the senior analyst, who is close to the Iranian team of negotiators in Vienna talks, said the Obama and Trump administrations have taught Iran that it needs to foresee a complex plan to ensure that any US cheating in future won't harm Iran's merits under the nuclear deal and won't cost Iran direly, if it ever gets back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, of course.

Noting these assurances in a tweet, he said Iran intends to keep its enriched uranium stockpile excessive to the maximum ceiling enshrined in the JCPOA as well as its advanced centrifuge machines under the IAEA seal, but without dismantling or destroying them, so that if the US violates the deal again, it won't sustain much of a loss again (like the last time the JCPOA went into force and then discarded by the US) and could resume nuclear operations immediately under such circumstances.

A second guarantee pertains to US insurance to all trade firms and companies that they can continue business with Iran for years without being punished no matter the US remain under the deal or not, Khoshcheshm wrote on his twitter page on Tuesday.

He further pointed out that Iran has also requested the US and the EU to provide it with legal and political assurances as part of guarantees to lower the chances for a US cheating, though he stressed that the US record of actions displays that Washington is no trustworthy partner to any deal.

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.