Iran will not back down on its demands: Top negotiator

06 December 2021 | 10:19 Code : 2008117 From the Other Media Latest Headlines General category
Iran will not back down on its demands: Top negotiator

The Islamic Republic will not backtrack on its demands made during the latest talks in Vienna over its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani told Italy’s ANSA news agency in an exclusive interview published on Sunday. 

The seventh round of discussions between Iran and the remaining parties to deal – Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – known as the P4+1, ended on Friday with Tehran putting forward two sets of proposals to resurrect the troubled accord.

The drafts focused on main issues to the revival of the deal, officially called the JCPOA, namely the removal of US sanctions and the return of Iranian nuclear activities within the limits set by the agreement.

The US, under former president Donald Trump, sent the JCPOA unraveling after walking out of it in 2018 and reinstating and reinforcing sanctions removed under the deal in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

The unilateral withdrawal prompted Iran a year later to gradually roll back key parts of its nuclear program in retaliation. 

The proposals are "logical and well-founded," said Baqeri Kani, adding since it was the Americans who left that agreement, it is up to them to take the first step.

Iran wants Trump’s successor Joe Biden to remove all sanctions at once and in verifiable way before rejoining the JCPOA.

Baqeri explained that the first set of proposals is the one that should clearly take precedence.

"Even the administration of Joe Biden believes that the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement was an illegal move. So it is up to them to make the first move to reactivate the agreement,” he said.

The top negotiator took a jab at the three European parties for failing to keep their end of the bargain.  

“As for the Europeans, they too have not respected their obligations to remedy the American move. That is to say, they did not oppose the logic of American sanctions, which inflicted heavy damage on the Iranian economy.”

Baqeri Kani rejected Western criticism of the proposals he outlined in the Austrian capital.

"They are logical and well-founded and can be used as a basis for negotiations,” he said.

“The counterparts can present their drafts, but we expect them to give a logical answer to the Iranian ones.”

The lead negotiator said Iran “believes in the negotiations” and is even "optimistic" about reaching favorable results.

"But the past non-constructive behavior of the other signatories of the agreement and the repeated violations of their obligations require us not to be naive,” he pointed out.

Baqeri Kani said Iran will see what emerges from the next round of negotiations that is expected to take place within days.


Proposals ‘not maximalist’

In Tehran, a senior Foreign Ministry official told IRNA that Iran’s proposals were developed based on a draft produced over the course of the six previous rounds and that they “are not maximalist”.

“These proposals are naturally not maximalist because they are presented in full compliance with the JCPOA,” the unnamed official said, adding the opposing side unfortunately has a “minimalist approach” toward its obligations under the deal. 

The official said the US “clearly” reluctant to lift its sanctions and stop its “maximum pressure” campaign.

“It is now clear the US reluctance to give up sanctions altogether is the main challenge to the progress of negotiations,” the official pointed out.

He said a deal can be quickly attained “once the US ceases its maximum pressure and the European side demonstrates the necessary political will”.

Source: Iran Daily