Senior Diplomat Cites Success in Vienna Talks

Iran is after a lasting and reliable agreement and an interim deal has never been on its agenda, Khatibzadeh said
Senior Diplomat Cites Success in Vienna Talks
Senior Diplomat Cites Success in Vienna Talks

The fact that many of Iran’s ideas have been put into formal words has been a great success at talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior Iranian diplomat said. 
“We put forward completely operational and practical ideas with a realistic view,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said during a regular press conference on Monday, IRNA reported. 
The negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna aim to work out how the United States and Iran can return to their commitments under the deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
Washington quit the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Tehran to step beyond its nuclear limits in reaction. 
Vienna talks are in their eighth round and differences on key issues still remain to be addressed. 
After the new Iranian government took over in early November, it put forward new proposals, which although slowing down the process at first, provided a practical solid basis for discussion on areas of dispute. 
Iran says it will reverse its nuclear measures after verifying the effective removal of all American sanctions. It also demands assurances that no future US administration would violate the deal again. 
Khatibzadeh said all negotiating parties have accepted that what happened in the past after the US unlawful exit from the JCPOA must not be repeated. 
“The fact that assurances must be provided is agreed by all,” he said. 
He especially highlighted Iran’s initiatives regarding the needed guarantees, saying they made it possible to bring the topic up for discussion. 
“Iran is in Vienna to reach a lasting and reliable agreement and for that purpose, the path to receiving guarantees is an important one,” he said.



No Interim Deal

Negotiations in Vienna are progressing on a right track, according to Khatibzadeh, and discussions on four areas of sanctions-lifting, nuclear steps, verification methods and guarantees have moved forward. 
“On some of the documents, differences have narrowed and the number of brackets have decreased,” he said, adding, however, that key issues still remain which require fundamental decisions.  
He ruled out the possibility of signing an interim agreement, as has been reportedly proposed to Iran.  
“An interim agreement has never been on Iran’s agenda… Iran is after a lasting and reliable agreement and does not accept anything less than that,” he said. 
Under such potential interim agreement Tehran would be required to stop enriching uranium up to 60% purity and dispose of its current stockpile, possibly by exporting it to Russia, along with other restrictions.
In exchange, the Iranian government would receive access to billions of dollars in oil revenues frozen in foreign bank accounts, including in South Korea. 
“We have a serious need for a qualitative agreement with rich content and I hope Washington has recognized this necessity,” Khatibzadeh said. 
Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations also said on Friday that Tehran does not want an interim agreement and any such proposal must be rejected since the goals of sanctions relief and a guaranteed US return to the JCPOA would not be achieved under such a deal.
“Iran seeks a reliable but also durable agreement that is consistent with the promises made in the JCPOA, and any agreement that does not meet these two criteria is not on the agenda for us,” the mission said in a statement. 
A senior Biden administration official also said an interim “arrangement” is not under serious discussion.
“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,” the source said, according to NBC News. 

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