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Iran says US offered no tangible proposal, text to P4+1 in Vienna

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)
Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, speaks during a weekly news conference, on December 20, 2021. (Photo by Fars News Agency)

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the United States has offered “no tangible proposal or text” to the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna, where high-ranking talks are underway to remove the US sanctions against Iran and revive the 2015 agreement.

“Contrary to what the US is saying today, it offered no tangible proposal or text to the P4+1. This places a big question mark on America’s intention,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a weekly news conference on Monday.

“Should the other side come to Vienna with tangible proposals, we can reach an agreement in the shortest possible time,” he said.

Asked about a claim made by US national security adviser that he gave Iran a direct message on its nuclear program, Khatibzadeh told reporters that there have been “no direct talks” between Tehran and Washington since the start of the talks in Vienna in April.

“Regarding the Vienna talks, no direct talks have taken place with the United States in the recent months,” Khatibzadeh underscored.

Iran and the remaining parties to the Iran agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), began to hold talks in the Austrian capital with the aim of reviving the US-ditched agreement through the removal of Washington’s anti-Iran sanctions.

The JCPOA was inked by Iran and six world powers in 2015. Under the deal, Tehran agreed to put limits on certain aspects of its nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of international sanctions imposed against the country.

In 2018, however, the US exited the pact and began to unilaterally implement what it called the maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, effectively depriving Iran of the deal’s benefits by forcing third parties to stop doing business with Iran.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman stressed that an agreement will only be reached “if the other party enters [the talks] with the will to lift sanctions in an effective and verifiable manner.”

Khatibzadeh further clarified that any messages concerning the issues of negotiation have been delivered to Iran through European Union deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora.

“Some messages on the issues of negotiation have been received [by Iran] in a written and unwritten form through Enrique Mora since the start of the talks in Vienna, and answers have been given on the spot.”

‘We could have reached these texts sooner’

According to Khatibzadeh, the parties to the Vienna talks reached two agreed-upon texts in the latest round of talks, which kicked off on November 29.

“These texts have incorporated Iran’s views in addition to the previous texts … We now have texts according to which we can continue the future talks,” he said.

The spokesman lamented that if the other parties had begun the latest round of talks with the same attitude that they concluded the round, “we could have reached these texts sooner.”

Following the US withdrawal, Iran remained patient for an entire year, after which it began to take incremental steps away from its nuclear obligations due to the other parties’ proven failure to secure its contractual interests.

The Islamic Republic’s nuclear steps prompted other signatories to enter talks earlier this year.

Iran has repeatedly said that it seeks the removal of all sanctions in a verifiable manner as well as a guarantee from Washington that it will not leave the deal again.


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