No deal to be implemented until IAEA drops baseless anti-Iran case: Advisor

Mohammad Marandi, an advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna

An advisor to the Iranian negotiating team in the Austrian capital, Vienna, says no agreement with parties to the 2015 Iran deal will be implemented unless the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors closes its case of baseless claims against Iran.

Mohammad Marandi made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, in reaction to an earlier report by Reuters news agency that claimed Iran had given up some of its key demands in negotiations.

“No deal will be implemented before the IAEA permanently closes the false accusations file,” he wrote, stressing that the removal of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from the US list of so-called foreign “terrorist” organizations (FTO) had never been a “precondition” for an agreement in Vienna.

He also denounced the report as “very misleading” and said Iran’s nuclear program “will not be dismantled.”

On Monday, citing a senior US official, Reuters claimed that Iran had dropped some of its main demands on resurrecting the deal, including its insistence that international inspectors close some probes of its atomic program, bringing the possibility of an agreement closer.

“They came back last week and basically dropped the main hang-ups to a deal,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “If we are closer today, it’s because Iran has moved. They conceded on issues that they have been holding onto from the beginning.”

Iran said last Monday that it had responded to the EU’s proposal aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal, and that it was now Washington’s turn to show realism and flexibility if it really wanted a final agreement to be reached.

The US is currently said to be studying Iran’s response to the proposals and is expected to give its own answer in days.

Despite all the progress, however, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi has been repeating previous accusations against the Islamic Republic under pressure mainly from Israel, while the Western officials and media have been expressing optimism about the finalization of the diplomatic process.

In an interview with with CNN on Monday, Grossi said, “Give us answers and access to people and places so we can clarify a lot of things that need to be clarified,” calling on Iran to explain what he claimed to be “traces of enriched uranium” found at the country’s nuclear research sites three years ago.

This is while Iran has already provided the necessary information and access to the IAEA. According to Iran’s Nour News, Grossi is obstructing the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), by his continued political approaches amid the US administration’s foot-dragging in removing economic sanctions against Tehran.  

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated draconian sanctions on Iran despite Tehran’s full compliance with its commitments under the landmark accord.

After exercising “strategic patience” for one year, Tehran started to gradually scale back its commitments under the deal in 2019 but maintained that its “remedial measures” were reversible provided the other parties fulfill their commitments.

Since April last year, Iran and the world powers have been holding on-and-off negotiations to salvage the deal and lift sanctions on Iran, after Trump’s successor Joe Biden pledged to reverse course.

The talks have, however, failed to cross the finish line as the Biden administration has not yet managed to take a political decision on breaking with Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy against Iran.

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