Iran’s top negotiator has warned that Tehran will stop participation in talks with the co-signatories to the 2015 nuclear as soon as the discussions underway in the Austrian capital, Vienna, stray from the right path and move toward excessive demands and killing time.
Speaking after the latest round of the talks in Vienna on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the discussions are “progressive” despite “the existing difficulties” facing the diplomatic process aimed at reviving the nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He reiterated Iran’s position on the future of the agreement and said the Iranian delegation to the talks, headed by Araqchi, will stop the negotiations if they move toward “excessive demands, wasting time and irrational bargaining.”
Earlier, representatives from the parties to the JCPOA wrapped another round of talks in Vienna, which focused on the outcome of the previous sessions and consultations between two expert-level working groups formed to facilitate the negotiations.
On behalf of the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, the session was chaired by Deputy Secretary-General and Political Director of European External Action Service Enrique Mora.
Participants in the Tuesday session discussed the latest developments surrounding technical talks, preliminary drafts and ways to continue the negotiations.
They agreed to add another working group to the two ones formed earlier to make practical arrangements required for Washington’s return to the JCPOA and the lifting of its sanctions against Tehran.
Joint Commission today. Progress made over the last two weeks. But much more hard work needed. Third expert group was created to address sequencing issues. I continue to think that diplomacy is only way forward for the #JCPOA to address ongoing challenges” pic.twitter.com/CDaU4BrY8e — Enrique Mora (@enriquemora_) April 20, 2021
The two expert-level working groups have been discussing the sanctions Washington might remove as well as the reversal of Tehran’s retaliatory commitment reductions, and reporting their conclusions to the JCPOA Joint Commission.
The diplomats also agreed to proceed with the technical and expert-level talks next week after holding consultations with their own capitals.
The United States, under former president Donald Trump, left the JCPOA in May 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted in addition to imposing new non-nuclear ones. Tehran returned the non-commitment of the US to the deal with remedial nuclear measures that it is entitled to take under the JCPOA’s Paragraph 36.
After a change of administration in the US, new President Joe Biden has claimed that Washington is ready to rejoin the deal.
The Islamic Republic has insisted that it would only stop its adherence to the JCPOA paragraph once the US lifted all the sanctions in one step and after Iran has verified that the sanctions relief has actually taken place.
The US so far failed to meet Iran’s condition.
The diplomatic process began in Vienne on April 6 aimed at ending the dispute over the JCPOA.
“Summing up the results of 2 weeks of deliberations on JCPOA restoration we can note with satisfaction that the negotiations entered the drafting stage,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal.”