Sanctions Removal Key to Success of Vienna Talks

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran’s purpose of active engagement in future nuclear talks is the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Tehran
Sanctions Removal Key to Success of Vienna Talks
Sanctions Removal Key to Success of Vienna Talks

Future negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal can only succeed on condition that the other sides show “firm determination” and “practical readiness” to remove sanctions on Tehran, Iran’s top negotiator said. 
Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri made the statement in his meeting with ambassadors of Mediterranean and Eastern European countries on Wednesday, as well as his earlier meetings with resident ambassadors in Tehran and Persian Gulf countries’ envoys, according to his tweet. 
Iran is set to re-engage in negotiations in Vienna, Austria, that aim to bring both the United States and Iran back to full compliance with the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
Washington exited the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions that compelled Tehran to row back on its commitments in reaction. 
Six rounds of indirect talks were held in Vienna to restore the deal, before a pause in June due to a change of government in Iran. 
The new administration in Tehran is set to restart negotiations on Nov. 29. 
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said all parties have now come to a common understanding that the US is the main culprit for the current situation. 
“Iran’s purpose of active engagement in future nuclear talks is the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Tehran,” he said in a phone conversation with his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Rau, on Thursday. 
He had earlier said that although Iran is doubtful about the American side’s intentions, it will return to all its commitments if they completely return to theirs and do not make extra demands. 
“America cannot carry on with the failed policy of maximum pressure and economic terrorism and claim to seek negotiation and agreement at the same time,” he said. 



Interim Agreement  

An American source familiar with the US administration policy has told Axios that the US approach is to go to Vienna in good faith and see what Iran proposes. 
“If the Iranians make extreme demands, it will then be possible for the US to get other world powers including Russia and China to increase the pressure,” the source contended.
Iran has made clear that it demands a complete removal of sanctions at once and in a verifiable manner before it reverses its countermeasures. 
It also calls for a guarantee that no future US administration would once again back out of the agreement that has been endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution. 
Washington is reportedly refusing to lift all its bans unconditionally and has recently added to its list of sanctions. 
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has raised the idea of an interim agreement with Iran to buy more time for nuclear negotiations.
According to two American sources, the idea was that in exchange for a freeze from Iran (for example, on enriching uranium to 60%), the US and its allies could release some frozen Iranian funds or provide sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods. 
Sullivan shared the idea with his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata, who disagreed, stressing the Israeli concern that any interim deal will become a permanent agreement that allows Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and uranium stockpile, an Israeli official said.
Western countries are alarmed by Iran’s dramatic nuclear advances, saying they have put Tehran very close to the uranium enrichment levels needed for a nuclear weapon. 
Iran strongly denies seeking weapons of mass destruction, maintaining that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.  
US Iran envoy Rob Malley has also visited Israel this week and met with Hulata as well as with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, both of whom contended that the only way to get Iran back to the JCPOA was to increase rather than loosen the pressure, according to a senior Israeli official.
Malley made clear that the Biden administration also thinks more pressure on Iran is needed, but the main difference is over the timing of further steps against Iran, the official said.
The Iranian administration has declared that it would do its utmost to lift sanctions on the country, but would not tie the future of the country’s economy to these negotiations and will focus on alternative solutions to counter sanctions at the same time. 

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