Iran’s president tells Macron Vienna talks must end in removal of sanctions
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi has told his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that Tehran seeks a definitive result through the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital, emphasizing that Vienna negotiations must end in removal of sanctions imposed on Iran.
Raeisi made the remarks in a Monday phone call initiated by Macron, which lasted for one and a half hours, during which the two sides discussed the current state of Vienna talks on removal of anti-Iran sanctions and other issues of mutual interest.
“Sanctions have failed to stymie Iran’s progress and today, the entire world knows who violated the JCPOA, and they must return to their commitments,” Iran’s president said, using an acronym for Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The current conditions are the result of Americans and Europeans not fulfilling their commitments as per the JCPOA,” Iran’s chief executive said.
Raeisi added that those parties who violated the JCPOA must gain the opposite side’s trust so that negotiations could proceed in a real manner and bear fruit.
Iran’s president then told Macron that if they believe in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an international authority, they should note that “the agency has frequently announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its nuclear obligations.”
He added that during his recent visit to Iran, Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi said nothing about Iran not being in compliance with its obligations, adding, “We are now ready to continue full cooperation with the Agency.”
He also urged Macron to work with other participants in Vienna talks to secure removal of sanctions imposed on Iran.
Macron, for his part, condemned unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA, saying that Paris considers the nuclear deal a common responsibility for its members.
Macron added that he has talked to US President Joe Biden and that Paris is bent on going on with the negotiations until a final result is reached.
The French president’s phone call came after the end of the first meeting of the seventh round of Vienna talks earlier the same day during which, according to Iran’s top negotiator, Ali Baqeri-Kani, all participants in the first meeting of the seventh round of talks have agreed that removing sanctions must be the main focus of negotiations.
Former US president Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
The US administration of Joe Biden had said it is willing to undo Trump’s wrongs and rejoin the landmark deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Tehran insists that all sanctions must first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.