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Top Officials Brief MPs on Nuclear Talks

Top Officials Brief MPs on Nuclear Talks
Top Officials Brief MPs on Nuclear Talks

Senior Iranian officials engaged in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal briefed lawmakers on the latest developments of negotiations in a private meeting on Wednesday. 
The meeting was attended by Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami, ICANA reported. 
At the beginning of the session, Shamkhani presented a report about the progress of talks, emphasizing that the parliament’s strategic action plan to lift the sanctions is “important and fundamental” and has been effective in securing the country’s national interests, Abolfazl Amouei, spokesman for the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said. 
“The rest of the course of action will therefore be designed within the same framework,” he added. 
Amir-Abdollahian later briefed lawmakers on major diplomatic issues and Baqeri Kani presented a review of the latest discussions and the current draft text on restoring the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
The JCPOA promised sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear activity, but the United States pulled out in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Tehran to scale down its commitments. 
Negotiations started early last year in Vienna, Austria, to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but were stalled for months until the European Union coordinator of the deal, Josep Borrell, put forward a new initiative to break the impasse. 
The latest round of talks resulted in an EU draft which Borrell called the “final text” on JCPOA revival, although Iran refuses to accept it as the last possible effort. 
“At the current stage of negotiations, suggestions have been received from the other party in Vienna, and the Islamic Republic has delivered its response,” Amouei said. 
Iran’s response, which was submitted late on Monday, is being reviewed by the EU at the moment. 
“If Iran’s response is accepted, we will be on the verge of an agreement,” Amouei said. 
He added that no complete deal has been achieved yet, but negotiators are on the path to reach one. 
The US said also on Monday that it was informing the EU foreign policy chief of its response. 
US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said Washington has also received Iran’s comments on the proposed text through the EU and is in the process of studying them. 
“We are at the same time engaged in consultations with the EU and our European allies on the way ahead,” he told a press briefing on Wednesday. 
He refused to go into the details of the Iranian response or the US opinion of it, saying “when we have more to say, we’ll share it.” 
“We’ve been conveying our feedback privately to the EU. We’ll continue to do that, but we’re not going to detail that feedback,” he said. 

 

 

Economic Benefits 

Iran demands a complete and verifiable removal of sanctions, guarantees for the US lasting adherence to the deal and the closure of its safeguards case at the International Atomic Energy Agency. 
Amouei said national interests and Iran’s economic benefits have been among the key demands of lawmakers and important items on the agenda of the negotiating team. 
“Economic benefit means the removal of barriers that have been illegally put up to Iran’s foreign trade,” he said. 
For example, Iran should be able to sell its oil without restriction and repatriate its revenues legally via banks so as to use them to supply the country’s needs, he explained. 
The issues of guarantees and verification have been accepted in principle by the other side, but the details for their implementation remain to be part of the discussions, according to him.  
Moreover, the bases of the country’s nuclear program, which is an indigenous and peaceful achievement, must be preserved, according to Amouei. 
“They must be implemented again within the limits of the very 2015 deal eventually,” he said. 
 

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