Iran's top negotiator: Good progress made in Vienna talks on sanctions removal, verification - Balkan Times

Iran’s top negotiator: Good progress made in Vienna talks on sanctions removal, verification

Iran’s top negotiator in talks held in the Austrian capital with the goal of removing sanctions imposed on Tehran says during the eighth round of negotiations good progress was made with regard to the removal of sanctions and subsequent verification of sanctions removal.

Iran’s top negotiator: Good progress made in Vienna talks on sanctions removal, verification – Iran’s top negotiator in talks held in the Austrian capital with the goal of removing sanctions imposed on Tehran says during the eighth round of negotiations good progress was made with regard to the removal of sanctions and subsequent verification of sanctions removal.

Ali Bagheri Kani made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Thursday before leaving Vienna for Tehran after the negotiators declared a few days of recess on the occasion of the New Year holidays.

“The issue of sanctions removal was the main focus of the talks. Iran and the other side continued their negotiations on multiple issues, including a number of sessions on the verification of sanctions removal. The meetings were attended by both the coordinator of the joint commission of the JCPOA and the European side,” he said.

“Also, on the issue of verification, Iran held separate sessions with the coordinator of the joint commission and the three European signatories” to the JCPOA, he added.

“There was also some correspondence between the two sides on the issue of sanctions removal. Good progress was made during the first days of the eighth round,” he added.

Iran’s top negotiator also expressed hope that after a few days of recess over the end-of-year holidays, more serious work would be pursued on the issue of sanctions removal by the other parties.

“We hope more serious work gets underway on the issue of sanctions removal once the delegations return to negotiations after the New Year holidays,” he noted.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries on Monday started the eighth round of the Vienna talks focused on the removal of all sanctions imposed on Tehran after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the agreement.

The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the landmark deal with Iran, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which took place three years after the accord was clinched by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany in June 2015.

Russia: Agreement possible in first half of February

Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna also talked to reporters following the conclusion of talks on Thursday, saying that in his opinion an agreement could be clinched by participants in the Vienna talks before the end of February 2022.

“I believe it is doable to achieve an agreement in first half of February; maybe a little bit earlier or later; nobody can say precisely and accurately…. The most important thing is that we observe steady progress. It’s difficult but we move ahead,” Mikhail Ulyanov said.

The Russian diplomat added in a post on his twitter account that the eighth round of negotiations will resume on January 3.

“Informal consultations still continue within the framework of the #ViennaTalks. But time has come to take a New Year break. The 8th (not the 9th) round of negotiations on restoration of #JCPOA will resume on Monday, January 3,” Ulyanov tweeted.

Informal consultations still continue within the framework of the #ViennaTalks. But time has come to take a New Year break. The 8th (not the 9th) round of negotiations on restoration of #JCPOA will resume on Monday, January 3.
— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) December 30, 2021

One year after Washington’s exit from the deal and the failure of the European signatories to uphold their commitments under pressure from the US, Iran took a set of retaliatory steps away from the deal in several stages in line with its legal contractual rights.

With a new administration on office in the US, Washington says it wants to rejoin the deal, but it has been dragging its feet in removing the sanctions on Iran.

Tehran has been firmly insisting that the US must first remove the sanctions in a verifiable manner, give guarantees that it will not leave the agreement again, and compensate for all the damages inflicted on Iran due to its unlawful pullout.

Russia: Iran not to blame for stalling Vienna talks

Also on Thursday, the spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied certain reports that the Iranian delegation is stalling the Vienna talks.

Speaking at a weekly briefing, the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Russia sees no reasons to accuse Iran of stalling the Vienna talks.

“We don’t see any reasons to assert that the Iranian side is stalling this process,” the Russian diplomat said, adding, “Actually, this is not in its interests either as Tehran has repeatedly stated because, while the JCPOA is stuck, illegitimate American sanctions continue to be in effect.”

She noted that Washington “has already regretted several times the fatal decision by the previous administration to end the nuclear deal with Iran” when the US unilaterally “simply ran away” from the JCPOA.

“It is always more difficult to restore than to destroy,” the Russian spokesman said, adding, “Washington has to tangibly support its numerous promises to return to the JCPOA with practical action.”

“It is obvious that the position of an offender of the UN Security Council resolution creates more and more discomfort for the Americans. On our part, we are doing everything necessary in order to help rectify the situation and we hope that intensive negotiating efforts at the Vienna venue will continue despite the counteraction of the opponents of the nuclear deal.”

“We proceed from the premise that there is no alternative to the JCPOA,” Zakharova said, adding, “We are confident that its full implementation will have a favorable impact on the political climate in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf region and, of course, will facilitate a decrease in tensions and the strengthening of trust in the region…”

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(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect BalkanTimes editorial stance.)

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