Source: Iran Not to Accept Interim Agreement in Vienna
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran will not accept an interim agreement in Vienna talks with the world powers, a source said, rejecting certain media claims that the country has agreed to discuss such a deal.
“At present, the issue of an interim agreement in Vienna talks has not been raised and the Iranian delegation focuses on achievement of a stable and definite agreement,” a source close to the negotiations told FNA on Saturday.
The comments came after the NBCNews quoted the US officials as claiming that “as part of an effort to revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, Russia has discussed a possible interim agreement with Iran in recent weeks that would involve limited sanctions relief in return for reimposing some restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program”.
The report, meantime, added that Iran has so far rejected the proposal presented by Russia, the officials and other people familiar with the discussions said.
The Iran Permanent Mission to the United Nations said on Friday that Tehran does not want an interim deal, and declined to discuss specifics of the Russian proposal.
The Iranian officials have in several occasions in the past few weeks dismissed the possibility of accepting an interim agreement in Vienna talks.
On December 6, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal al-Mikdad that "we do not consider an interim agreement a good agreement for our country. The agreement should be comprehensive, and it should be an agreement that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the people make tangible use of the economic benefits of the nuclear deal and the lifting of sanctions”.
Also, on January 11, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Tehran is after a stable and reliable agreement.
"All sides (in Vienna talks) are trying to reach a lasting understanding. The focus of the talks is on the removal of sanctions in a verifiable way, as well as nuclear issues, and in some cases, it has progressed," Khatibzadeh told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran.
"The Vienna talks are to ensure a responsible return by the US to the JCPOA, and we do not discuss or accept anything beyond the deal," he added.
The spokesman also said that Iran does not accept any “fabricated” deadlines and is not satisfied with the slow pace of negotiations in Vienna.
Asked about the media reports on an interim agreement in the Vienna talks, Khatibzadeh said, "We are seeking a stable and reliable agreement, and an agreement that does not have these two components is on our agenda. We should all try to ensure that the US return to the JCPOA to be accompanied by the necessary guarantees and verification and that the lifting sanctions must take place. This is not achieved by any temporary agreement."
Earlier this month, the Arabic-language Al-Rai Al-Youm newspaper had also claimed in a special news item that the agreement in Vienna had actually been completed and the obstacles that existed in the course of the negotiations during the previous rounds had been removed.
While officials at the Vienna talks had not yet released details of the talks, Al-Rai Al-Youm claimed that the parties had reached a two-year interim agreement.
There is no interim agreement made between Iran and the world powers in Vienna talks, a source close to the Iranian negotiating team said at the time, rejecting an Arab media report on a two-year-long preliminary deal between Tehran and the Group 4+1 (Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany).
The report released by an Arab newspaper about an interim agreement in Vienna is completely false and fabricated, the source said.
Senior political analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm, who is close to the Iranian team of negotiators, also rushed to dismiss the Arabic paper’s report immediately after it surfaced the media.
"The report is unfounded and rejected outright. There is no agreement. In fact, negotiations are just warming up to reach their peak in the weeks ahead over a lot of issues left for tough debates,” he wrote on his twitter page.
Khoshcheshm had said in several interviews with Iranian and foreign language media in the last few weeks that talks were moving ahead on a natural trajectory, but at a slow pace due to the inflexibility of the US-led European parties.
Also, on January 13, another source close to Iran’s negotiating team rejected reports that an interim agreement was discussed in the Vienna talks.
“Basically, the issue of an interim agreement or the so-called less-for-less agreement has not been so far raised in the talks, and has never been on the Iranian team’s agenda," the source said.
"As pointed out before, the Iranian delegation seeks a permanent and reliable agreement and has no plan [on the agenda] to talk about an interim agreement," the source added.