Removal of All Sanctions Key to Success of Vienna Negotiations

Removal of All Sanctions Key to Success of Vienna Negotiations
Removal of All Sanctions Key to Success of Vienna Negotiations

Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araqchi reiterated that for the 2015 nuclear deal to get back on track, the United States must remove all the sanctions imposed on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Araqchi spoke to Press TV on Tuesday, after another round of talks between representatives of Iran and other signatories to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in Vienna, Austria.
He said all the sanctions imposed on Iran during the terms of ex-president Barack Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, following the implementation of JCPOA must be terminated before the United States can return to the agreement.
Araqchi said Tehran’s position with regard to the landmark deal has not changed and will not, either.
“The United States must first lift all sanctions and Iran will return to its obligations only after verifying the lifting of US sanctions,” he said.
Araqchi noted that before starting the third round of JCPOA’s Joint Commission in Vienna, the Iranian delegation had held a number of bilateral and trilateral meetings with other parties as well as with representatives of Russia and China to coordinate their positions on the nuclear deal’s revival.



Common Position 

Stressing common positions with Russia and China on many issues, the deputy foreign minister said there is good understanding and close cooperation among the three delegations.
“We can see enough seriousness in all delegations. Everybody is serious enough to work hard in order to come to a conclusion,” he added.
Araqchi also said the delegations at the meeting had decided to intensify the work of two working groups on sanctions lifting and also agreed on forming a third group called “Practical Arrangements”, which was to start work on Wednesday and its purpose is “to find ideas and solutions for the question of verification, the implementation day and the timetable for implementing the commitments and measures of all parties”.
“We have made some good progress. We are on the right track but still we have lots of challenges ahead of us; important challenges that we have to address and we have to deal,” he said.
Araqchi also pointed to the issue of avoiding protraction of talks and reiterated Iran’s position on abandoning the negotiations if the parties lacked enough seriousness.



Close Monitoring 

Araqchi noted that Iran is closely monitoring the behavior of other parties. 
“We would certainly not go for time-consuming negotiations with no result. As soon as we see that the other side is not serious and tries to waste the time for other purposes, we will certainly stop negotiations,” he said.
Asked about banking sanctions and whether Iran would be allowed to have banking relations with the US dollar, the head of the Iranian negotiating team said we should leave the investigation of this issue to the experts, adding that “conversion of different currencies” was also under discussion.
JCPOA’s Joint Commission resumed talks on the revival of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, which was attended by the Iranian delegation and representatives of the P4+1 group of countries, namely Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany.
The session was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by Deputy Secretary-General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora.
Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been involved in the diplomatic process in Vienna since April 6 to save JCPOA. The nuclear deal has survived almost three years of unilateral US sanctions on Iran, which in turn prompted Tehran to reduce its own commitments in a legal move under the accord.
The US, which withdrew from the deal in 2018, is also in talks with the JCPOA participants, except for Iran. The talks have so far failed to lead to concrete results as the US insists on pushing its own narrative regarding several issues, including which sanctions can be removed and which sanctions are not removable.
The US is also pressing for a step-for-step removal of the sanctions, which has been rejected categorically by Tehran.

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