Nuclear Talks in Better State After Mora’s Trip

The initiatives discussed during Mora’s trip are implementable by Iran and it is only the US who needs to respond now, Khatibzadeh said
Nuclear Talks in Better State After Mora’s Trip
Nuclear Talks in Better State After Mora’s Trip

Negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal are in a better state now following the European Union coordinator’s visit to Tehran last week, a senior Iranian diplomat said.
“What is available today is a few steps further forward than before Mr. [Enrique] Mora’s trip to Tehran,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a regular press briefing on Monday, ISNA reported.
He added that initiatives discussed in the meetings are implementable by Iran, and apparently by the EU. 
“We are now only waiting for Washington’s response,” he said. 
Talks in the Austrian capital Vienna aim to restore the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which offered sanctions lifting to Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program. 
The United States withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions which prompted Tehran to scale down its commitments. 
Negotiators in Vienna could resolve the majority of issues since April 2021, but the talks have been stalled for two months over a few remaining differences. 
The EU coordinator’s visit with the aim of breaking the impasse has reportedly “deblocked” the negotiations, although no date has yet been arranged for a future meeting in Vienna.
“Serious and result-oriented negotiations were held during this trip and special initiatives were put forward by Iran,” Khatibzadeh said.
The American side’s response to the suggestions can advance the talks to the point where all sides can return to Vienna for an agreement, he added.
“If the US makes and announces its political decision, we can take a major step forward in negotiations.” 
If the few, but important, outstanding issues are resolved, the Iranian team will return to Vienna to finalize and announce an agreement, according to the diplomat. 



False Argument 

Washington, on the other hand, puts the onus on Tehran to end the deadlock, claiming that Iran is making demands outside the purview of the JCPOA. 
Khatibzadeh said it is the US who labels the obligations it does not wish to meet as demands beyond the JCPOA, which is a completely false argument. 
“The US must meet its commitments under the JCPOA and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 [which endorsed it], in a way that Iran’s economic interests are completely ensured and its trade is normalized,” he said. 
He added that the US cannot talk of an agreement and seek to maintain part of its so-called maximum pressure campaign. 
“Washington cannot keep the nuts and bolts of pressure against Iran and at the same time think that they can reach an agreement on a return to the JCPOA.” 
A sticking point in negotiations was Iran’s demand for the removal of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps from the list of terrorist organizations, which the US refuses to do, arguing that it is outside the scope of the nuclear deal. 
Iran maintains that the designation was part of the US so-called maximum pressure campaign, all of whose components must be removed before Iran returns to its commitments. 
Asked about Russia’s role in the talks, Khatibzadeh said Moscow has always played a constructive part, although its conflict in Ukraine has undermined its mediatory power. 
Russia’s representative in the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, who used to be an active diplomat in Vienna, has tweeted recently that under different circumstances, his country probably could have provided its good offices to the two sides to finalize an agreement on JCPOA, “But not now”. 
A breach has opened up between the western parties and Russia over Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine.   

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