Contact with US beyond Written Exchanges Possible with Good Deal at Hand: Shamkhani

Contact with US beyond Written Exchanges Possible with Good Deal at Hand: Shamkhani

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said communication with the American negotiators in the Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA could be elevated from informal written exchanges to other methods only when a good agreement is available.

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Ali Shamkhani offered an explanation of the indirect contacts between the Iranian and American negotiators in the course of talks in Vienna about ways to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and remove the sanctions on Tehran.

“Contact with the American delegation in Vienna has been through informal written exchanges, and there was no need, and will be no need, for more contact, so far,” he said.

“This communication method can only be replaced by other methods when Good Agreement is available,” the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council added.

Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA have been holding talks in Vienna since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the US into full compliance.

The US left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former president Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on a promise by Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, to rejoin the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own undoing of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.

On Sunday, the 29th day of the eighth round of Iran and P4+1 talks in Vienna, Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Baqeri and Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief and head of the JCPOA Joint Commission, held a meeting. Later in the day, the top Iranian diplomat met with delegates of the P4+1 group of countries.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all sanctions that the United States had imposed on Iran after its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the deal with Iran.

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