Vice Speaker Urges US to Grasp Opportunity Offered by Geneva Deal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Vice speaker of the Iranian parliament called on the US to take the opportunity for wise interaction with the Islamic Republic after the Geneva nuclear deal, warning that Tehran would simply stick to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) alone if it wants to.
“If the Americans do not use the available opportunity rationally, we will return to the Non-Proliferation treaty and will only act within the framework of this treaty, of which we have long been a signatory ,” Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabifard told the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday.
“I hope the Americans would proceed wisely and use the opportunity provided by the Islamic Republic,” he pointed out.
This comes after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program after three rounds of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24.
The deal is intended to allow time to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program, with the aim of bringing a decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program to an end.
However, the US Treasury Department on Thursday slapped sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions against Iran. The blacklisting is widely seen as an attempt to head off moves in Congress to impose tougher sanctions that would be in clear breach of the Geneva agreement.
Expert-level talks between representatives from Iran and the G5+1 came to a halt in the Austrian capital of Vienna on December 12, after the US Treasury Department issued new sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for allegedly evading US sanctions against Iran.
No date has been set for the deal between six world powers and Iran to take effect, but both sides hope that the talks will start soon.
Iranian officials argue that the new measures are in breach of the agreement brokered in Geneva last month, but not enough to undo all the achievements.
“The process has been derailed, the process has not died. We are trying to put it back and to correct the path, and continue the negotiations because I believe there is a lot at stake for everybody,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief and to impose no new nuclear-related bans in exchange for Iran's commitment to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during six months and allow for more inspections.