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Report: US devises new anti-Iran ploy to win concessions 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)
A reflection of the US Capitol on a car window on January 13, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

As all sides to the Vienna negotiations report some progress, the United States has resorted to a new political and psychological ploy to further pressure Iran, with over 100 House Republicans calling on the Biden administration to halt its indirect presence at the talks to win concessions, according to a report.

In an article published on Thursday, Iran’s Nour News website said Western countries, especially the US, have tried to put psychological pressure on the Iranian negotiating team in order to impose their will on Tehran while shirking their own responsibilities and obligations.

The Islamic Republic will not back down from its legal and logical positions under any circumstances, even though the US-led side of the negotiating table is trying to bypass Iran’s initiatives on the need for the US to provide guarantees as well as the necessity of a process to verify the removal of US sanctions, Nour News added.

In a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 110 US lawmakers urged the White House to enforce existing sanctions that were imposed on Iran after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018.

“Iran’s growing nuclear provocations, while stalling progress in negotiations, are the epitome of bad faith,” claims the letter, which was released on Tuesday.

They particularly called on the Biden administration to enforce the existing sanctions on Iran’s oil trade with China.

The American lawmakers also said “it is well past time for the [Biden] administration to end these farcical negotiations and fully enforce our existing sanctions to slash this vital source of revenue” for Iran.

Nour News further branded the move as an “overused approach” that was also employed during the original talks that led to the formation of the JCPOA in 2015.

It said even if the pressure on the US president is real, “this is merely a US domestic issue and shall have nothing to do with the other parties to the negotiations.”

“If the US president does not have enough authority to manage the political elements of this country to reach an agreement, he should not have entered into this process at all,” the article maintained.

At the same time, it continued, such a hypothesis shows that the US administration does not have the necessary authority and ability to fulfill its obligations, and this issue calls into question the principle of negotiation to reach an agreement.

Diplomats from Iran and the other remaining parties to the JCPOA are engaged in the eighth round of diplomatic negotiations in Austria’s capital to bring the US back into the deal.

The US abandoned the JCPOA in 2018 under former president Donald Trump and imposed more than a thousand sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Undoing Trump’s wrongs would mean the US needs to verifiably remove all of those sanctions.

However, the JCPOA has been the subject of bitter disputes within the US. Washington signed on to the deal under Democratic President Barack Obama and is trying to rejoin it under another Democrat, Joe Biden, while Republicans have vigorously opposed the deal all along.

Last year, Senator Ted Cruz, among other Republican lawmakers, warned that any future Republican president would redo Trump’s illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA, which was at the time faced with worldwide opposition.

“Unless any deal w/ Iran is ratified by the Senate as a treaty—which Biden knows will NOT happen—it is a 100% certainty that any future Republican president will tear it up. Again,” Cruz tweeted on October 31.

Tehran, in response, says “objective guarantees” on the US part are needed so that the international community can make sure Washington cannot make a mockery of international law again.

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