Talks on JCPOA Revival Going On: Iran’s Chief Negotiator

Talks on JCPOA Revival Going On: Iran’s Chief Negotiator

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s chief negotiator in the talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal and termination of sanctions said the talks are going on and the two sides keep exchanging messages.

In an interview with Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network, Ali Baqeri said the negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), continued at different paces in the past year and a half, but they were in progress cohesively and continually and that now, the exchange of messages continues between the two sides.

Referring to Qatar’s mediating role, he said, “We do not have a direct relationship with the US, and it is natural that the exchange of messages between us and the Americans takes place through an intermediary, which is sometimes a European or a non-European country. We had the exchange of messages and it still exists.”

The talks to revive the 2015 deal kicked off in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of removing anti-Iran sanctions and examining the US’s seriousness in rejoining the JCPOA.

The discussions, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s insistence on its hard-nosed position of not removing all the sanctions that were slapped on Tehran by the previous US administration.

The senior diplomat further said that one of the basic red lines of the Islamic Republic is the issue of guarantees by which the opposite side adheres to its obligations.

“The Islamic Republic has declared that it sees no obstacles to finalizing the agreement even in the short term, within a framework that observes its red lines and interests,” he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Baqei said the Western countries have failed to use the recent foreign-backed riots in the country as leverage in the talks.

He said the West has made a “miscalculation” vis-a-vis the recent developments in Iran.

“Regarding the developments and events inside Iran, (the Western states) may have made a miscalculation, but when they faced the realities, they found themselves empty-handed and had nothing to criticize at the negotiation table,” he said.

He added that, “There is no doubt that they plot to use various tools against the Islamic Republic ... in the negotiations…, but we have seen nothing that indicates they can exploit the recent developments in Iran and certainly they will not be able to do so.”

Baqeri further said that so far five rounds of talks have been held between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that the discussions are advancing.

“It is natural that in order to get the views of Tehran and Riyadh closer, the two sides need consultation, dialogue, and time.”

Regarding the possibility of the Zionist regime using regional countries against the Islamic Republic, he said that Tel Aviv makes strategic mistakes.

“The Zionists' plot to confront the Islamic Republic is not a new thing, but experience has shown that the Zionists make strategic mistakes. The costs they pay in the confrontation with the Islamic Republic are definitely more than what they think they can achieve.”

The top diplomat also emphasized that the source of any threat against Iran will definitely be targeted.

“The Zionist regime will never cause concern for the Islamic Republic, and the leaders of this regime know very well that if they dream of attacking Iran, they must be sure that they will not wake up from that dream.”

Concerning relations with Moscow and Kiev, especially after Russia’s operation in Ukraine, Baqeri said that Iran will continue its relations with both countries.

However, he noted, the Islamic Republic "has officially declared that it is neutral towards this war and will not help any side in the war and has not done so until now.”

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