Iran says all sanctions must be removed verifiably, rejects ‘interim deal’
Iran wants the removal of all sanctions in a verifiable process, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Friday – three days before the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Monday’s talks between Iran and the remaining parties to the agreement – Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China – aim to bring the United States back to compliance with the accord.
The US under former president Donald Trump abandoned the accord in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran. Trump’s successor Joe Biden seeks to rejoin the deal.
“Despite the breach of the JCPOA by the United States and the three European countries, we will be attending the Vienna talks with good faith and seriousness,” Amir-Abdollahian told Joseph Borrell, the European Union foreign policy chief, on the phone.
“We want a good and verifiable agreement,” he added.
He said there needs to be “enough and serious” guarantees that the US, which is not trustworthy, would not leave the nuclear deal again.
He urged the West to enter the seventh round of talks with a “new and constructive approach”.
“If the opposing sides are prepared to return to their full obligations and the lifting of sanctions, a good and even immediate agreement can be reached,” Amir-Abdollahian pointed out.
The top diplomat noted that a return to the JCPOA should mean “adherence to all its terms in practice”.
Borrell, who coordinates the talks, said a return by all sides to the original deal is possible.
He said the only way to removal of the sanctions is the revival of the deal.
‘Interim deal’ rejected
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Friday rejected the idea of an “interim deal” through the Vienna talks.
“All US sanctions must be removed in one go, effectively and verifiably with [the US] providing concrete guarantees,” Khatibzadeh said.
On media speculations over a step-by-step removal of US sanctions through the Vienna format, Khatibzadeh said the position of the Islamic Republic on the matter has been clearly stated since a few months ago, Press TV reported.
Last week, US-based Axios news outlet reported that US national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised with his Israeli counterpart the idea of an “interim agreement” with Iran to buy more time for further negotiations.
Citing informed US sources, Axios said the idea was that in exchange for a freeze from Iran (for example, on enriching uranium to 60%), the US and its allies could release some frozen Iranian funds or provide sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods.
US political bewilderment
Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani also called on the US to lift all its sanctions against Iran and provide guarantees that future American administrations would not walk out of the JCPOA.
“Regrettably, the failed policy of pursuing the maximum pressure campaign, which began in the Trump administration, remains on the agenda of the Biden administration,” Baqeri Kani told The Independent on Thursday. “President Biden needs to remove the sanctions in order to relieve himself of what we see as political bewilderment and the pursuit of failed and inhumane policies of the Trump administration,” he added.
The official also said Iran “demands guarantees from the other party not to exit the deal, not to impose and enforce new sanctions, and not to reinstate and reapply the previous sanctions”.
The expectation is aimed at securing the deal against “political chaos” in the United States, he added, referring to the possibility that future American administrations could again take Washington out of the deal unless they were stripped of the political machinery to do so.
No permit needed
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Tehran does not need permission from anyone when it comes to producing advanced centrifuges as he lamented that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is under the influence of the US and its Western allies.
“At the Karaj nuclear facility, we don’t have nuclear material, and that’s why the site is not subject to the Safeguards Agreement. We produce centrifuges there. They say Iran is producing advanced centrifuges at the Karaj facility. Yes, we do not shy away from this fact,” Behrouz Kamalvandi said in an interview with national TV on Thursday.
“We are able to produce such centrifuges at a high capacity, and we do not get permission from anyone for this,” he said, explaining that Iran is entitled to producing advanced centrifuges without having to endure any limits under Article 4 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Kamalvandi also criticized the IAEA over its prejudiced approach toward Iran’s civilian nuclear program, saying the United Nations’ nuclear agency is under the influence of major world powers.
Source: Iran Daily