Iran’s top negotiator says the parties that have failed to honor their commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear accord are the ones being far from a meaningful negotiating table, not the Islamic Republic, which has fully complied with its contractual undertakings and never left the table in the first place.
Ali Baqeri-Kani, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs, made the remarks during an interview with Press TV, reacting to mounting pressure on Tehran to return to talks in Austria’s capital, Vienna, aimed at reviving the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The talks, which were paused in June after Iran’s presidential election, are expected to resume before the end of November, Baqeri-Kani announced via a tweet on Wednesday, following talks with Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief, in Brussels.
“During today’s meeting, I stressed that we, who fully honored the [nuclear] agreement and we still do, are in fact near the negotiating table,” he told Press TV after the Wednesday meeting.
“Those who are far from the negotiating table are the ones that have either failed to uphold their commitments or indeed violated the previous commitments,” he said. “They are very far from the negotiating table.”
The senior Iranian diplomat explained that his meeting with Mora lasted several hours, during which they discussed the backgrounds, requirements, and conditions that are needed for result-oriented negotiations to be established between Iran and P4+1.
He said it was decided during the meeting that Iran and P4+1 will resume negotiations “within the next month” based on those frameworks.
He also repeatedly underlined Iran’s firm stance on the primacy of establishing “result-oriented” negotiations via the Vienna format.
“Result-oriented talks are acceptable for us; talks that will have practical outcomes; talks that will lead to the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions. But we do not accept talks for the sake of talks and reject them,” he said.
“A very important point that was underscored during today’s meeting and also during the meeting in Tehran is that the Islamic Republic of Iran only pursues talks that require practical achievements and outcomes, and that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not pursue talks for reaching a mere agreement written on a piece of paper,” Baqeri-Kani, who replaced Abbas Araqchi as Iran’s lead negotiator, stated.
“The main subject in these talks is the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions that were imposed against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the course of the last few years, especially the sanctions that were imposed by [former US President Donald] Trump under the so-called maximum pressure policy against our people as a result of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA,” he added, using the official acronym of the landmark agreement.
Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated harsh economic sanctions that were lifted under the deal, saying he was pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran in order to force it to renegotiate a new deal.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s view has been the same from the very beginning. Since we have a strong and firm logic, and we entered the negotiating field based on that strong and firm logic and we are currently present at the negotiating table as well,” Baqeri-Kani told Press TV.
He added that Iran is waiting to see whether the other side is ready to enter serious negotiations that can lead to a practical outcome, which he said included the removal of cruel and illegal sanctions against the Iranian nation.