IranMiddle East

Iran nuclear work must hang over violators’ heads like sword of Damocles: Security chief

Iran’s top security official lashes out at the parties that have failed to fulfill their commitments as per the 2015 Iran deal, saying the Islamic Republic should always use its peaceful nuclear capability as a “sword of Damocles” over the heads of those who violate the agreement.

“Peaceful capability of #Iran’s nuclear program must always remain like sword of Damocles above the heads of violators as a real guarantee for fulfillment of their obligations,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

He added that after the US withdrawal from the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018, “it was better to use such an inherent guarantee” in a more effective way.

Back in 2018, then-US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA and began to implement what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, depriving the country of the economic benefits of the agreement, including the removal of sanctions, for which Iran had agreed to certain caps on its nuclear activities.

In the meantime, the other parties to the deal, in particular France, Britain and Germany, only paid lip service to safeguarding Iran’s economic dividends as promised under the JCPOA, prompting Iran – after an entire year of “strategic patience” – to reduce its nuclear obligations in a legal move under the deal.

Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — started talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna last April on the assumption that the US, under the Joe Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy.

Tehran says it will not settle for anything less than the removal of all US sanctions in a verifiable manner. It also wants guarantees that Washington would not abandon the agreement again.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi said on Monday that any agreement with the P4+1 group of countries in Vienna for the JCPOA revival requires the removal of all anti-Iran sanctions, protection of the Iranian nation’s interests, valid guarantees, and closure of political cases.

Iran’s lead negotiator, EU official meet in Vienna

As the eighth round of talks between Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries continues in Vienna on the JCPOA revival, Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and European Union deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora, who also coordinates the negotiations, met on Tuesday.

In a post on his Twitter account, Mora said the Vienna talks are at a “crucial moment” while the sides are nearing the end after 10 months of negotiations.

“The result is still uncertain. Key issues need to be fixed. But all delegations are fully engaged. Intense work in Coburg,” the senior EU official tweeted, referring to the venue of the ongoing Vienna talks.

Meanwhile, experts of Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA held intensive talks and consultations over the past two days.

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