Baqeri, European Negotiators Meet to Advance Nuclear Talks

Baqeri, European Negotiators Meet to Advance Nuclear Talks
Baqeri, European Negotiators Meet to Advance Nuclear Talks

Iran’s top negotiator, Ali Baqeri, held talks with European Union political director Enrique Mora and representatives of the European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in a meeting on Saturday as part of efforts in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
IRNA reported that the discussions were focused on working out ways to verify removal of sanctions under a possible agreement and securing guarantees that the US would not exit the deal and reimpose sanctions again. 
Meanwhile, a source close to the Iranian delegation in the Vienna talks dismissed reported plans for an interim agreement, reiterating that Tehran keeps insisting on the achievement of a lasting and reliable agreement.
Speaking to Tasnim News Agency on Saturday, the source commented on the reports about a possible interim agreement with Iran in the course of Vienna talks, saying, “As mentioned several times before, plans for an interim agreement have never been on Iran’s agenda, and the Iranian team still seeks to achieve a sustainable and reliable agreement.”
The source made it clear that an interim deal remains off the agenda of the Iranian team in the JCPOA talks.
The comments came after NBC News, citing US officials, reported that as part of an effort to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Russia has discussed a possible interim agreement with Iran in recent weeks that would involve limited sanctions relief in return for reimposing some restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program. 
The unidentified officials said the US is aware of Russia’s alleged proposal to Iran, which comes as concern grows within the Biden administration that time is running out on negotiations between Iran and world powers over a full return to the nuclear deal. 
The Trump administration withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions. In Response, Tehran suspended full compliance with the terms of the deal. 


First Step 

Iran has so far rejected the proposal purportedly presented by Russia, the US officials and other people familiar with the discussions told NBC News. The Iran Permanent Mission to the United Nations also said on Friday that Tehran does not want an interim deal, and declined to discuss specifics of the alleged Russian proposal.
Any new agreement separate from the JCPOA could trigger a review by Congress.
As such, if an understanding were to be reached on an interim Russian proposal, the US and other governments likely would portray it as a first step toward a full return to the 2015 accord, and not as a new or separate agreement, the sources said.
A senior Biden administration official said an interim “arrangement” is not under serious discussion.
“Though we cannot speak for any discussions that may have taken place between Russia and Iran, at this stage we are certain that no such interim arrangement is being seriously discussed,” the official said. “Regarding an interim deal, we will not negotiate in the press or comment on specific claims about the negotiations. Our timeline is based on a technical assessment of Iran’s nuclear progress rather than a temporal clock.”
On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Russia to use its influence on Iran. “If a deal is not reached in the next few weeks Iran’s ongoing nuclear advances will make it impossible to return to the JCPOA, but right now there’s still a window, a brief one,” Blinken said after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva. “Russia shares our sense of urgency, the need to see if we can come back into mutual compliance in the weeks ahead, and we hope that Russia will use the influence that it has and relationship that it has with Iran to impress upon Iran that sense of urgency.”

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints