Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has rejected claims made by US officials about new demands raised by the Iranian delegation in Doha talks, saying the Islamic Republic’s requests are in line with the 2015 accord.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Tehran on Wednesday, the top Iranian diplomat reiterated that his country is seeking a “good, strong and lasting agreement.”
“Contrary to media claims of the American side, we have put forward no excessive demand that goes beyond the framework of the JCPOA (the joint comprehensive plan of action)," Amir-Abdollahian said, adding that the demands are totally in line with the 2015 deal.
Iran and the US are presently engaged in indirect talks in the Qatari capital of Doha, which began last week, mediated by the European Union. The talks are aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and lifting sanctions on Iran.
Amir-Abdollahian's remarks came in response to US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley, who claimed on Tuesday that Tehran has come up with "new demands" at the Doha talks.
“They have and, including in Doha, added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal,” he was quoted as saying by NPR.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price echoed Malley’s remarks, claiming that Iran has “consistently introduced extraneous demands, demands that – or issues that – go beyond the four walls of the JCPOA.”
“To introduce anything that goes beyond the narrow confines of the JCPOA suggests a lack of seriousness, suggests a lack of commitment,” Price said at a press briefing on Tuesday
Iran seeking economic benefits of JCPOA
During Wednesday's presser, Amir-Abdollahian referred to assurances given by Western sides in Vienna talks to eliminate all obstacles that prevent Iran from obtaining economic benefits of the deal, suggesting that these barriers may be what the US considers "beyond-JCPOA demands".
“One of the issues that we mainly focused on in Doha talks was [the provision of] an effective guarantee by the US for everything than can affect Iran’s reaping of the full economic benefits of the JCPOA,” added the minister.
“So our demand is not excessive and we are on the path of acquiring the guarantees. The US should commit that the Islamic Republic of Iran will receive all the benefits of the 2015 deal. This is what the American side has failed to give assurances about its realization.”
Stressing that Iran has “goodwill” and welcomes “logical negotiations,” Amir-Abdollahian noted that the country is “serious” on this path.
The minister also expressed Iran’s appreciation to the “brotherly and friendly” country of Qatar for its “constructive efforts” in hosting the talks.
The 2015 deal was violated by the US in 2018 after then-president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the agreement and reinstated crippling economic sanctions on Iran under the so-called “maximum pressure policy.”
For one year, Iran observed “strategic patience” to see if European signatories to the deal can safeguard its economic interests. In May 2019, Tehran finally began scaling back its commitments under the agreement.