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Baqeri-Kani: Iran resolved to actively, positively engage in Vienna talks

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)
Chief Iranian negotiator Ali Baqeri-Kani (L) meets with head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on December 2, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s top negotiator to Vienna talks on removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran says the Islamic Republic is resolute to actively and positively engage in negotiations with other signatories to 2015 nuclear deal, officially called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Ali Baqeri-Kani made the remarks in a tweet following a Thursday meeting with head of the UN nuclear watchdog in Austrian capital, Rafael Grossi, during which the two sides discussed future cooperation among other topics.

Iran’s senior diplomat said he had “fruitful discussions with Grossi aimed at continuation of technical cooperation between Iran and IAEA.”

Baqeri-Kani added that during the meeting, he “confirmed the resolute intention of Iran to actively and positively engage in the talks in Vienna.”

Baqeri-Kani emphasized, the “Agency has a positive technical role to play” in Vienna talks.

Following the meeting, Baqeri-Kani told Iran’s official IRNA news agency that his talks with Grossi focused on future cooperation between Iran and the Agency.

Asked if Iran’s peaceful nuclear program was also among the topics discussed by the two sides, Iran’s top negotiator said no.

Chief Iranian negotiator Ali Baqeri-Kani (2nd R) meets with head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi (1st L) in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on December 2, 2021. (Photo by Fars news agency)

Iran’s permanent mission to Vienna also tweeted that during the meeting the “two sides discussed issues of mutual interest in a constructive atmosphere.”

“Iran expressed its genuine intention to continue its close cooperation with the IAEA as well as active engagement in Vienna talks,” it added.

Grossi met and conferred with head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on November 23.

Grossi’s trip came ahead of the meeting of the 35-nation Board of Governors as well as the much-anticipated talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on the removal of US sanctions on Iran.

The IAEA chief had earlier complained that he had “no contact” with the new Iranian administration of Ebrahim Raeisi.

Tehran dismissed the claim, saying that on the contrary, he had had close consultations with both the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Iranian embassy in Vienna.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries began on Monday the seventh round of the talks in the Austrian capital to discuss ways for the removal of US sanctions and reviving the 2015 Iran deal, officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Former US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by the other side.

The US administration of President Joe Biden had said it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Iran says it won’t settle for anything less than the removal of all US bans in a verifiable manner. It also wants guarantees that the US would not abandon the agreement again.


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