Iran’s foreign minister has ruled out talks over the 2015 nuclear agreement for the sake of talks, saying the timing and duration of the negotiations are determined only by national interests.
In a post written in Persian on his Instagram page, Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for supporting the Iranian negotiators, who are in Vienna to discuss the issues surrounding the deal, also called the JCPOA, saying the Leader’s recent remarks “once again, as in previous difficult times, revived hopes and made [our] steps stronger.”
“The Leader’s advice to refrain from ‘attritional negotiations’ has always been a beacon for us,” Zarif said.
“We considered ‘negotiations for the sake of negotiations’ a failed experience and we negotiated only to achieve national goals,” he added.
In his Wednesday remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei warned against protracted talks with the participant parties to the JCPOA, namely France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, saying he has directed Iranian negotiators to proceed with the talks for now.
“The fact that the Americans talk about engaging in direct and indirect negotiations [with Iran] is not because they want to negotiate to accept the truth, rather they want to negotiate to impose their wrongful argument” on Iran, the Leader noted.
Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran. He called his anti-Iran moves the “maximum pressure” policy.
Iran fully honored its nuclear commitments under the deal for an entire year, but it began to scale down its commitments on May 8, 2019. The decision was made as part of Iran’s right under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA in response to the breach of the agreement by the other side.
Trump combined his so-called maximum pressure policy with repeated calls on Tehran to renegotiate a new deal, which Iran rejected categorically.
Tehran has also rejected repeated calls by the Biden administration to hold direct talks with Washington over the JCPOA, arguing that the US is no longer a party to the deal and that it first needs to return to its commitments by removing the sanctions before it can attend multilateral JCPOA meetings with Iran.
“As we did not accept talks leading to a photo op in the past four years, today we will seriously refuse to engage in negotiations for the sake of negotiations as well,” Zarif said.
He said the Rouhani administration sees negotiations as a powerful and legitimate tool to resolve problems, rather than a tribune for making speeches or a stage for taking photos.
The foreign minister also hoped for a brighter future for Iranians, filled with joy and satisfaction and far away from the misfortunes of sanctions and the coronavirus.