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Vienna talks: Advisor says Iran won’t be pushed into ‘incomplete deal’ over unrelated Ukraine crisis

Mohammad Marandi, an advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, speaks with Press TV on March 1, 2022.

Iran will not be pushed into a “bad or incomplete deal” as the Western parties to the US-ditched 2015 deal resort to yet another excuse to wrap up the Vienna talks in their favor, says an advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in the Austrian capital, referring to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

In an interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Mohammad Marandi said the Europeans and the Americans are still “stonewalling” and making all sorts of excuses that are “not even relevant to the nuclear negotiations.”

He said the European parties to the negotiations are now talking about the crisis in Europe, namely the Ukraine-Russia conflict, which “has nothing to do with constructing or creating an airtight deal.”

“They (Iranians) can’t be pushed into a bad deal or an incomplete deal or a problematic deal simply because the Europeans say they have problems elsewhere and that they need to conclude the negotiations fast,” Marandi said.

“For Iranians that’s unacceptable,” he asserted.

Dismissing repeated Western calls for a quick conclusion of the talks with the aim of imposing their will on Iran, Marandi, a Tehran University professor, said they are now making other excuses instead.

“They are talking about the crisis in Europe,” he said. “They are talking about Ukraine and Russia which has nothing to do with the problem. So it just shows that the Europeans and the Americans are not honest, nor are they consistent in their argumentation.”

The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the other parties to the Iran deal on the assumption that the US, under the Joe Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy against Tehran.

Former US president Donald Trump instigated the maximum pressure campaign after he pulled the US out of the Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 and unleashed what he called the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

One key issue on which Iran and the US are now in complete agreement is that the maximum pressure campaign of sanctions has failed.

At the talks, Tehran says it won’t settle for anything less than the removal of all of those sanctions. It also seeks the formation of a verification regime on the removal of the sanctions, as well as guarantees that Washington would not abandon the agreement again.

Iran seeks ‘airtight deal’

Elsewhere during the interview, Marandi confirmed to Press TV that a deal is within reach even though Western countries have been dragging their feet for months.

“The Iranians have been able to push forward and to resolve most of the issues, but there are a few remaining issues that are key in order for a deal to be agreed upon,” he explained.

He made clear that Iran wants “an airtight deal” bereft of any loopholes that the Americans and the Europeans would exploit “as they’ve done so many times before.”

“What they want is to pressure Iran into accepting something that is not acceptable. They want Iran to accept a deal that has loopholes, and those loopholes will come back to haunt Iran, and the Iranians know this. We’ve been there before,” he added.

The Iranian advisor reiterated that a deal is at hand and hinges on the other parties’ resolve.

“All they have to do – the Europeans and the Americans – is to stop stonewalling and to accept Iran’s legitimate concerns,” he stated.

Marandi said the remaining issues are very important for Iran “because they could become Iran’s Achilles’ heel” and that’s unacceptable for the Iranian government and people.

He further explained, “The Europeans are not in a good place. They need Iranian oil now. They need Iranian energy to calm down the markets. So it’s for their own good to [finish] the negotiations as soon as possible.”

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