Iran to quit talks if others impose will: Araqchi

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi

A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says Iran will quit the nuclear talks with the P5+1 should the other parties try to impose their will on the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Monday that the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 should be geared toward meeting the interests of both sides and a win-win solution.

“If that does not happen, and if one side attempts to impose its will in the talks through means other than negotiating, we, too, will certainly be under no compunction to leave the negotiating table,” Araqchi said.

“But,” he said, “that is not the situation we are in right now.”

The senior Iranian negotiator was responding to a question about the recent remarks made by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said US President Barack Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is feasible.” Kerry made the remarks in the British capital of London on Saturday.

Araqchi also said that Iranian negotiators will continue the talks with strong will and determination and “whenever we sense that the negotiations are not proceeding in line with the nation and the country’s interests and toward the defined objectives, we will definitely quit negotiating.”

He further said that it has been proven to the United States and the other members of P5+1 that “political and media pressure can by no means cause the Islamic Republic of Iran to alter its method, demands and position in the talks.”

Araqchi said the remarks by Kerry will have no effects on the talks, and that Iran will continue the talks as long as the language of respect is used during the talks.

He also evaluated the atmosphere of the talks as being “constructive and useful.”

Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – Britain, France, China, Russia, and the United States plus Germany – have been holding talks to resolve a dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

While the P5+1 has been seeking a high-profile political deal by the end of March and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1, Iran has said it only accepts an overarching deal that is reached in one stage.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on February 21, “No other deal will be reached before a complete agreement is clinched.”


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