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Tehran: Temporary Agreement Not on Agenda of Vienna Talks, Lengthy Negotiations Unwanted

Tehran: Temporary Agreement Not on Agenda of Vienna Talks, Lengthy Negotiations Unwanted
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By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said achieving a temporary agreement on how to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers has never been on the agenda of the ongoing talks between Tehran and other signatories to the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

Khatibzadeh made the remarks in an online Q&A session on Thursday, when asked about the main topics under discussion during JCPOA negotiations, which took place in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

“There has never been a discussion on a temporary agreement, but what has been discussed is full compliance of the United States with the JCPOA, the method used to verify [US compliance] and then retracting Iran’s remedial steps on the JCPOA,” he said.

Khatibzadeh added that there are still many differences on important issues, including the order of steps that must be taken, removal of all sanctions and verification of measures taken, but “I think that all parties have shown enough goodwill to move forward in Vienna.”

Asked whether participants in Vienna talks are compiling a new agreement parallel to the original one, he said, “The JCPOA was negotiated once and no new talks will be held on its contents.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman then added that a main concern not only for Iran, but also for other signatories to the JCPOA, is how to make sure that the United States will not breach any future promises.

“This is a concern not only for Iran, but for the entire P4+1, because when the US left the JCPOA, it not only pressured Iran, but also mounted pressure on European countries to end their presence in Iran. Therefore, all parties are now seeking guarantees” that this will not happen again, Khatibzadeh said.

He also emphasized that the background of US breaching its commitments has made verification of the utmost importance and “it is quite natural for Iran to want to painstakingly verify measures taken by the US.”

“This is why we emphasize that it is them [American] who must return to full [JCPOA] compliance first. We must verify this and make sure that they are not playing with words and will not try to undermine Iran’s foreign relations and trade,” Khatibzadeh added.

He further noted that “Iran is in no hurry in [Vienna] negotiations, but at the same time, does not want to get involved in lengthy and attritional talks.”

The United States, under former president Donald Trump, left the JCPOA in May 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted in addition to imposing new non-nuclear ones. Tehran returned the non-commitment of the US to the deal with remedial nuclear measures that it is entitled to take under the JCPOA’s Paragraph 36.

After a change of administration in the US, new President Joe Biden has claimed that Washington is ready to rejoin the deal.

The Islamic Republic has insisted that it would only stop its adherence to the JCPOA paragraph once the US lifted all the sanctions in one step and after Iran has verified that the sanctions relief has actually taken place.

The US so far failed to meet Iran’s condition.

The diplomatic process began in Vienne on April 6 aimed at ending the dispute over the JCPOA.

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