Agreement on JCPOA Attainable Quite Soon

Agreement on JCPOA Attainable Quite Soon
Agreement on JCPOA Attainable Quite Soon

A Russian diplomat said an agreement on the revival of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal can be reached “quite soon” as long as there is a political will for that.

“The political context is unfavorable but the distance between the countries’ positions is not big,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday, according to TASS.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offered sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but the US pulled out and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Tehran to row back on its commitments in response.

Negotiations have been underway since early 2021 to restore the deal, but have been stalled for months over final differences.

Ryabkov noted that the situation has become seriously complicated after a group of states at the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors passed a resolution earlier this month, condemning Iran for lack of cooperation over uranium traces allegedly found at undeclared sites.

“It is a classic example of falling into the same trap over and over again,” he said, adding ironically that "experience teaches nothing.”

In the past, such resolutions led to lengthy pauses in the talks and now, at the most crucial moment when an agreement was within reach, such steps were counterproductive, according to the Russian diplomat.

“Iran responded by expanding [uranium] enrichment. It is a very serious step."

The UN atomic watchdog's 35-nation Board of Governors passed a resolution on Thursday, ordering Iran to cooperate urgently with the agency's investigation into the alleged uranium traces.

The resolution, drafted by the US, Britain, France and Germany, was adopted with 26 votes in favor, five abstentions and two countries absent, while Russia and China voted against.

Iran argues that the IAEA questions are based on fabricated data about issues already settled in 2015, and responded to the resolution by increasing its enrichment.

All the while, Iran maintains that its nuclear activity is exclusively peaceful and in in accordance with the obligations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, denying any ambition to develop a nuclear weapon

Vladimir Ermakov, Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, said on Wednesday that there is no evidence to suggest that Tehran intends to reconsider its participation in the NPT and engage in developing a nuclear explosive device.

“Speculations about this issue are made by those who either possess nuclear weapons themselves or are non-nuclear-weapon states but voluntarily harbor them on their territory,” he told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Ermakov pointed out that Iran has been and remains a bona fide participant of the treaty.

The JCPOA definitively and irrevocably removed all the questions that the IAEA then had about Tehran, he stated.

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