Iran “had a very bad experience in the past. The United States withdrew illegally from the JCPOA, and they tried their best to destroy the JCPOA,” Abolfazl Amouei, member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Majlis (the Iranian Parliament), told the program on Sunday.
JCPOA is the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 deal between Iran and others.
The US pulled out of the deal in 2018 and returned the sanctions that it had lifted. Its allies in the deal—the UK, France, and Germany—bowed to Washington’s pressure by toeing the sanctions line as closely as possible.
The Western allies also tried but failed to trigger a “snapback” mechanism that would return the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The Austrian capital has been hosting eight rounds of negotiations since last year to examine the potential of fresh removal of the US sanctions.
“If the US is supposed to become a member of the JCPOA again…there are no guarantees that they would not do the same,” noted the legislator.
“Because of that, we need guarantees that the US would neither withdraw from the agreement again nor would it be able to use the snapback mechanism,” he said.
Also joining the program, Mohammad Marandi, an advisor to the Iranian negotiation team, likewise asserted that the Iranian negotiators were trying to make sure that “history does not repeat itself.”
“Unfortunately, in 2015, the Iranian side was subject to a verification process that was led by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but the other side did not have that sort of verification process,” he added.
“The negotiations are very tough, and, obviously, Western countries are very antagonistic. Iran is using all the leverage that it has, and its negotiators are also being very tough at the table.”
Asked about the type of sanctions that the Iranian side was trying to have removed through the negotiations, Marandi said the Iranian representatives were targeting all the sanctions that were imposed under former US President Donald Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign, including the coercive economic measures that are linked to Iran’s nuclear program, regional alliances, and missile defense capabilities.
An overwhelming majority of Iranian legislators issued a statement on Sunday, calling on the administration of President Ebrahim Raeisi to adhere to Iran’s red lines as the talks inch forward in Vienna.
They said the US government– and its European allies France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – have shown they are not bound by any agreement over the past few years, so Iran must learn from the experience and set clear red lines.
The red lines, according to the lawmakers, include guarantees by the United States and the three European signatories of the JCPOA that they will not abandon a potential agreement and use “the snapback mechanism” again. They also asserted that all sanctions imposed under “false excuses” must be removed.