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US claim to negotiations overshadowed by psychological war and sanctions

As diplomats from Iran and the other five parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement resume negotiations in Vienna, the United States and its European allies try to depict Iran’s stance on the issue as the major obstacle to reviving the nuclear deal while they themselves refuse to show good will by removing their illegal sanctions.

According to an article published by Nour News website, Washington has not only failed to take any steps to show goodwill at the Vienna talks, but has also continued to use threats and sanctions in the middle of the negotiations to convey a confrontational message to Iran, a sharp contrast to its professed willingness to reach an agreement through a diplomatic process in the Austrian capital.

Diplomats from Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear deal – France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China – gathered once again in Vienna on Thursday to kick off a new round of negotiations to reach an agreement on bringing the US back into the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by removing its anti-Iran sanctions.

Before the beginning of the new round, Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, met separately with the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora, who coordinates the talks, and with the Russian and Chinese delegations that have on several occasions supported Iran’s insistence on the necessity of removing all US sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had a phone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, during which the top Iranian diplomat reiterated Tehran’s seriousness in achieving a “good agreement” and said a rapid progress in the talks depends on the West’s “goodwill” and “constructive initiatives.”

The re-clarification of Iran’s stance comes while the Western countries have resorted to their old habit of using threats and psychological warfare to advance their agenda, trying to paint a grim picture of the negotiations and passing the blame on the Iranian side while pushing the talks toward a dead-end, Nour News noted.

According to the article, Washington, which is not allowed to take part in the talks due to its withdrawal from the JCPOA, and its European allies have attempted to intensify pressure on Iran to undermine the domestic cohesion that is the main support behind the Iranian negotiators, and in turn, impose their excessive, unprincipled demands on the Islamic Republic, despite the fact that all participant countries plus the current US administration have admitted that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA was the reason behind the current complex situation.

“The reasonable expectation is that the party at fault needs to show goodwill and take steps to make up for their past mistakes to get the negotiations on the constructive path and reassure the other parties,” it argued, adding that the continuation of the American sanctions show that the US behavior is in clear contradiction with its expectation to see “progress” and “success” during the talks.

The US abandoned the JCPOA under former president Donald Trump in 2018 to pursue a confrontational approach toward Iran, dubbed the “maximum pressure” campaign, which included the “toughest ever” economic sanctions on Iran. Under the Biden administration, the US has promised to repeal Trump’s “failed” policy and rejoin the JCPOA, but it has kept the sanctions as leverage during the Vienna talks.

Throughout the Vienna talks, which began in April, Iran has argued that the US, as the party responsible for the current situation, must first remove its illegal sanctions in a verifiable manner and provide guarantees that it will not leave the nuclear pact again in order to be able to re-enter the JCPOA.

Further expounding on the psychological war against Iran, the Nour News article maintained that Western-Zionist media constantly try to portray Iran’s peaceful nuclear program as a threat to world peace without providing any evidence, whereas Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s strict supervision.

They are trying to deceive the public with the false assertion that Iran, by sabotaging the negotiations, is seeking to buy more time to achieve new nuclear capabilities, the article noted.

It concluded that it will soon become clear whether such contradictory actions and words are negotiating tactics or they are the Western negotiators’ strategy to create new contradictions with the intention of halting the talks while simultaneously playing a blame game through their psychological-media war.

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