Nuclear Talks Resume in Vienna As Iran Insists on Removal of All Sanctions

Nuclear Talks Resume in Vienna As Iran Insists on Removal of All Sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran and World powers will gather in Vienna on Monday to try to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, as Tehran is sticking to its tough stance to secure a full and verifiable removal of all sanctions through the negotiations.

Diplomats say time is running low to resurrect the pact, which then-US president Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

Six rounds of indirect talks were held between April and June. The new round begins after a hiatus triggered due to the election of a new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Tehran's new negotiating team has set out firmer demands in order to “facilitate the legal rights of the Iranian nation to benefit from peaceful nuclear knowledge, (...) under the terms of the international Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” according to Ali Baqeri Kani, Iran’s top negotiator who made the remarks in an article published by the Financial Times on Sunday, as insisting that all US and European Union sanctions imposed since 2017, including those unrelated to Iran's nuclear program, be dropped.

Iranian officials have insisted in the run-up to Monday that their focus is purely the lifting of sanctions rather than nuclear issues.

"To ensure any forthcoming agreement is ironclad, the West needs to pay a price for having failed to uphold its part of the bargain. As in any business, a deal is a deal, and breaking it has consequences," Baqeri Kani said on Sunday.

"The principle of 'mutual compliance' cannot form a proper base for negotiations since it was the US government which unilaterally left the deal."

Diplomats have said Washington has suggested negotiating an open-ended interim accord with Tehran as long as a permanent deal is not achieved.

However, Moscow's envoy Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter, "The talks can't last forever. There is the obvious need to speed up the process”.

Observers say that the Islamic Republic’s unwavering position on the verifiable removal of US sanctions stems from the fact that the US started to impose new rounds of sanctions on Iran merely a day after the JCPOA’s implementation date.

It also took the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) seven months to grant Airbus and Boeing partial permission to sell planes to Iran. Even then, Iran received only three out of 117 Airbus passenger aircraft it ordered and none from Boeing.

The significant noncompliance of the other parties, in particular the US, prompted Iran to invoke the “dispute resolution mechanism” several times both before and after the US withdrawal from the nuclear pact.

In his article on Financial Times, Baqeri Kani also pointed out that Iran did not succumb to the use of either military threats, economic sanctions, or “maximum pressure” under Trump, stating that the country will not do so under President Joe Biden.

“In order to secure the rights and interests of our nation, we are ready for a fair and careful discussion, based on the principles of ‘guarantee’ and ‘verification’,” he maintained, reiterating that Iran demands compensation for the violation of the deal, which includes “the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions.”

In return, he went on, Iran is ready to voluntarily fulfill its nuclear commitments in accordance with the agreement.

“We remain prepared to react proportionately to any pressure and reciprocate any goodwill gesture,” Baqeri Kani noted.

“We have made our choice. We will now find out whether or not the West has the will to enter real negotiations,” he concluded.

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