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Source Rejects Reuters Report on Iran’s Demand for Removal of Missile Sanctions in Vienna Talks

6 July 2015 20:32




A source privy to the nuclear negotiations underway between Iran and the six world powers in Vienna strongly rejected a Reuters report alleging that Tehran is holding up talks due to its persistent demand for an end to the UN missile sanctions.

Reuters alleged in a Monday report that a dispute over UN sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and a broader arms embargo were among issues holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers on Monday.

“This report is nonesense and void of reality,” an Iranian diplomat told FNA.

Reuters claimed that an unnamed Western official has told the news agency that “The Iranians want the ballistic missile sanctions lifted. They say there is no reason to connect it with the nuclear issue, a view that is difficult to accept”.

“There’s no appetite for that on our part,” the report added.

Reuters further alleged that “Iranian and other Western officials have confirmed this view”.

“The Western side insists that not only should it (Iran’s ballistic missile program) remain under sanctions, but that Iran should suspend its program as well,” an Iranian official said, the report claimed.

“But Iran is insisting on its rights and says all the sanctions, including on the ballistic missiles, should be lifted when the U.N. sanctions are lifted,” it added.

In a framework agreement approved by the six powers and Iran in April known as the Lausanne Statement, the seven nations agreed that a final deal would include a UN Security Council resolution which would call all the five UNSC sanctions resolutions imposed against Iran’s nuclear activities as “null and void”.

The first two UNSC resolutions boycotted export of military, specially missile, technology and parts to Iran, a sanction that – along with all the other embargoes imposed against Iran under the five UNSC resolutions – would be automatically removed under the new UNSC resolution that, according to the Lausanne framework agreement, should be issued on the same day that the final deal is endorsed. Hence, a debate over the missile sanctions against Iran could take place if only the US reneged on its Lausanne undertakings.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) are in the final phase of their last round of talks in Vienna to draft a final deal to end their over-a-decade-long nuclear standoff.

The Reuters report also wrongfully claimed in its lead paragraph that Tuesday is Iran and the world powers’ “latest self-imposed deadline”.

While the US and its allies have stressed that they see Tuesday as a deadline – that has originally been imposed by the US congress for a review of the deal – Iran has repeatedly underlined that it does not see any such deadline as it is a domestic urgency for the US, not Tehran.

Both Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his deputy Seyed Abbas Araqchi have reiterated in the last several days that July 7 is no deadline for the talks. “We want a good deal and time-limit is no priority in this regard.”

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