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Iranian FM Reminds US President of Failure of Pressures Exerted by Predecessors

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined Iran’s development of its peaceful nuclear program even under the harshest pressures and sanctions, saying that US President Joe Biden should remember his predecessors’ failed policy towards Tehran.

“6 years ago today, JCPOA resolved a UNSC Chapter VII issue without resorting to war,” Zarif wrote on his twitter page on Wednesday.

Obama realized his “crippling sanctions” would not cripple Iran or its centrifuges (and) Trump ineptly thought “maximum pressure” would (but it) never will, he added.

“POTUS (the President of the United States) should look closely at these figure,” Zarif concluded, referring to a table showing Iran’s progress in producing different centrifuges and stockpiling materials needed for its peace nuclear program.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared on Monday that there are still unresolved issues in Vienna talks which require appropriate decision-making by other parties to the nuclear deal, and further stressed the need for Washington to lift sanctions against Tehran effectively.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made the comments in remarks to reporters after the foreign ministry forwarded a quarterly report on the Vienna talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to the Iranian parliament.

“Given the progress made, we can say that we are close to the end of the Vienna talks. Some unresolved issues remain, but what matters is that the weight of resolved issues outweighs the unresolved issues. We have come a long way, but it will not be easy. We hope that the other parties can make their own decisions so that we too can reach an agreement that will be in everyone’s interests,” Khatibzadeh said.

“In Vienna, all delegations acknowledge that relatively good progress has been made and all agree on their seriousness to continue on the path and reach an agreement to revive the JCPOA, but they also agree there are some key issues that need to be decided upon by decision-making bodies in their respective countries,” he added.

“What everyone in our country agrees on is that, firstly, US sanctions should be lifted in an effective manner and, secondly, any excessive demands beyond the JCPOA have nothing to do with this agreement. It has been repeatedly stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran will resume its full compliance with the obligations as soon as the nuclear deal is fully implemented and verified.”

Khatibzadeh also pointed out that from Iran’s perspective, the progress of the negotiations in Vienna shows that not only a lot of draft texts have been prepared, but also the unfinished parts have also been identified and elaborated on that clearly show the differences. This will help the decision-makers to realize what stage of the decision they are at.

“Our stances have not changed since the beginning of the [Vienna] negotiations, and we call for the lifting of sanctions, their verification, and then the resumption of our country’s implementation of commitments,” he added.

“The US, as a violator of JCPOA, should provide the necessary guarantees. In the Vienna talks, within the framework of national interests, we only pursue the goals set by high-ranking officials,” the spokesman said.

He added that the change in administrations in Iran will not affect the Vienna talks and the revival of the JCPOA, noting that there are talks underway on prisoners swap between Iran and the US and other countries that hold Iranian nationals in their prisons unjustly.

Khatibzadeh also said that with regard to the unfreezing of the Iranian funds in South Korea under the US sanctions, there has not been any major progress.

Elsewhere, he pointed out that Iran will continue its cooperation with Cuba on producing the joint anti-coronavirus vaccines.

In relevant remarks last week, Khatibzadeh rejected speculations that Tehran might change its position on the nuclear deal after the transfer of power to new President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, saying that the country’s stance is among the principled policies of the Islamic Republic.

“Iran’s position on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the lifting of sanctions is one of the principled positions of the Islamic Republic and will not change with the change of administration,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran last Monday.

“Therefore, if an agreement is reached, the administration of Mr. Rayeesi will be loyal to it, because contrary to the approach of some other parties, adherence to the given commitments and promises is always a principle for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.

“The progress made in the Vienna talks is a fact acknowledged by all parties to the talks, although there are still important issues that largely need to be decided by the other parties, especially the United States. In fact, the finalization of the agreement to revive the JCPOA depends on the political will of the other parties to make tough decisions on their part,” the spokesman said on the progress of the negotiations.

“Iranian delegation seeks to reach an agreement as soon as possible and to lift the oppressive sanctions against the Iranian people. However, we do not set any deadline for reaching an agreement that serves the interests of the Iranian people. Negotiations will continue until a favorable agreement is reached for Iran. As has been said many times, we are in no hurry to reach an agreement, but we will not allow the negotiations to turn into talks of attrition,” Khatibzadeh said.

The US, under former president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the agreement and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, which the accord had lifted.

The Trump administration subsequently launched what it touted as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force the Islamic Republic to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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