Vienna talks must await Iran’s democratic transition: Top negotiator

Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi

Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator says underway talks in Vienna concerning the Islamic Republic’s 2015 nuclear deal with world countries, have to allow time space for the pending democratic transition in Tehran to take its own course.

Abbas Araqchi, a deputy Iranian foreign minister, who leads the country’s delegation to the talks, made the remarks in a tweet on Saturday.

“We're in a transition period as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital,’ he said.

“Vienna talks must thus obviously await our new administration. This is what every democracy demands,” the official added.

The comments came amid the nearing prospect of the transition of authority involving the incoming administration of President-elect Ebrahim Raeisi and the team led by outgoing chief executive Hassan Rouhani. Raeisi, Iran’s former Judiciary chief, won the country’s presidential elections on June 18. The inauguration ceremony of the newly-elect president will be held on August 5.

The talks have been seeking to restore the nuclear agreement—officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—by potentially making the United States and its Western allies in the deal resume their commitments to the accord.

The US left the deal in 2018, although, it has been ratified by the United Nations Security Council as a resolution. It then restored the inhumane sanctions that the accord had lifted.

The UK, France, and Germany, Washington’s allies in the deal, were quick to succumb to the American pressure and start abiding by the sanctions.

Araqchi, meanwhile, urged the US and the UK not to take advantage of the situation facing the deal by conditioning potential prisoner exchanges with Iran on the negotiation process.

“US & UK need to understand this and stop linking a humanitarian exchange—ready to be implemented—with the JCPOA,” he said. “Keeping such an exchange hostage to political aims achieves neither,” the diplomat noted.

“TEN PRISONERS on all sides may be released TOMORROW if US & UK fulfill their part of deal,” the official concluded.

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