Negotiations with US not agenda of Iranian delegates in Vienna: Shamkhani

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)
This picture shows the Coburg Palais, the venue of talks between representatives from Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 deal in Vienna, Australia. (Photo by AFP)

The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has ruled out holding talks with the United States during the ongoing sanctions removal talks in Vienna, saying negotiations with the American side is not on the agenda of representatives from the Islamic Republic.

Ali Shamkhani said in a post published on his Twitter page on Monday that diplomats from Iran and the five remaining signatories to the 2015 deal – Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany – and the EU have been negotiating directly in the Austrian capital with the aim of reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding that "this path will continue unchanged until a result is reached."

The Iranian security chief highlighted that Tehran has strictly refused to hold any talks with the United States as such negotiations will not contribute to the Vienna talks.

“#ViennaTalks have been going on between #Iran, P4+1 and the representative of EU, from the beginning and this path will continue unchanged until a result is reached. Negotiation with US is not on the agenda of Iranian team because it will not be the source of any progress,” he wrote.

The United States left the JCPOA in 2018 and began to implement what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, depriving the country of the economic benefits of the agreement, including the removal of sanctions, for which Iran had agreed to certain caps on its nuclear activities.

In the meantime, the other parties to the deal, in particular France, Britain and Germany, only paid lip service to safeguarding Iran’s economic dividends as promised under the JCPOA, prompting Iran – after an entire year of “strategic patience” – to reduce its nuclear obligations in a legal move under the deal.

The Vienna talks began last April on the assumption that the US, under the Joe Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy pursued by former President Donald Trump.

Tehran says it will not settle for anything less than the removal of all US sanctions in a verifiable manner. It also wants guarantees that Washington would not abandon the agreement again.

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