Iran Committed to Process of Nuclear Negotiations

Media speculations about nuclear negotiations are influenced by political objectives of members or non-members to the process and cannot be confirmed by Iran, a senior diplomat said
Iran Committed to Process  of Nuclear Negotiations
Iran Committed to Process  of Nuclear Negotiations

Iran remains committed to the process of negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, but a conclusion depends on the other sides, particularly the United States, a senior Iranian diplomat said. 
“We don’t confirm media speculations about the talks since they are influenced by political objectives of members or non-members to the process,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a regular press briefing on Monday, IRNA reported. 
He made the remarks in reference to reports suggesting Iran and the US are reaching some sort of unwritten understanding instead of returning to the 2015 deal. 
Tehran and Washington have been conducting indirect talks since early 2021 to restore the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Under the landmark agreement, Iran had agreed to curb its nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief, but scaled back on those commitments when the US pulled out and reimposed sweeping sanctions. 
Negotiations in Vienna, Austria, have been stalled since last August and reduced to the level of exchanging messages. 
Some media outlets have reported recently that Iran and the US are nearing an interim agreement that would see Iran ceasing its 60% uranium enrichment activities and continuing its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog as per the JCPOA, in exchange for exporting up to a million barrels of oil per day and gaining access to its income and other frozen funds abroad.
Both sides later dismissed the report categorically.
Iranian officials, however, confirmed that there had been indirect contact over the exchange of prisoners and release of Iranian assets frozen as a result of US sanctions. 
Kanaani said talks over the release of Iranian prisoners are still underway through third parties that play a role out of goodwill. 
“We now need to see if the US is ready for such a decision,” he said. 
He also noted that detaining Iranian nationals on charges of circumventing sanctions is an additionally illegal move, since the sanctions are illegal themselves. 
Iran continues diplomatic practices for the release of assets blocked by US sanctions at the same time and has achieved favorable results so far, according to the spokesman. 
This could be evidenced by a sanctions waiver granted to Iraq to pay Iran nearly $3 billion for a debt it owed for Iranian oil and gas.
Commenting later on a move by the US Congress on making anti-Iran sanctions permanent, Kanaani reiterated that the American unilateral sanctions are “illegal, cruel and a violation of human rights.” 
“The unilateral and cruel US sanctions against Iran have practically failed to produce the outcomes intended by this country,” he said.  
Iran will continue its policy of developing balanced relations with other countries and neutralizing sanctions, he added. 
A bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives voted on Friday in favor of a bill that would make permanent the sanctions established by legislation passed in 1996 and set to expire in 2026.


Serious Negotiations 

Kanaani was later asked about renewed engagements between Tehran and European parties in recent weeks, which he said were carried out given the western sides’ interest in such dialogue with Iran. 
Iranian top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani has recently met with his counterparts from France, Germany and Britain, the three European participants, in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, before holding a series of talks with European Union coordinator Enrique Mora in Doha, Qatar. 
Kanaani said Iran and Europe have different issues of common interest to discuss, including sanctions lifting, over which negotiations were held in Abu Dhabi and Doha. 
“Serious and straightforward negotiations were held between Baqeri and the European sides; we need to see whether the other side is ready to correct its behavior or not,” he said. 
Kanaani added that Iran has explicitly expressed its position to the European members and heard their stances. 
“We have declared that we attend negotiations to achieve positive results and secure sanctions lifting, and that we don’t want negotiation for the sake of negotiation,” he said. 
In the meantime, Iran has used the potential of countries such as Oman to guarantee its national interests, according to the spokesman. 
In response to a question about the EU’s latest sanctions, he described them as “a move in the wrong and fruitless course.” 
He said asking for dialogue on the one hand and imposing new sanctions against Iran on the other is “an inappropriate measure”. 
“Europe must avoid stepping in the direction that the US has taken and change the course of imposing sanctions against the Iranian government and nation,” he said. 
The European Council on Monday said it would add seven individuals in Iran to the EU’s sanctions over human rights violations.
It has been the latest of a series of sanctions the bloc has introduced against Iranian individuals and organizations since last September’s unrest in Iran.

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