Top Negotiator: Iran remains firm on demands it presented at Vienna talks
Iran’s top negotiator in Vienna talks on the removal of sanctions imposed on the country says the Islamic Republic will not withdraw the demands it has put forth during the seventh round of talks with other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal in the Austrian capital.
Ali Bagheri Kani, who also serves as Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, made the remarks in an interview with Italy’s ANSA news agency, which was published on Sunday, saying that since the United States has illegally quit the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it is for Washington to take the first step to end the current situation surrounding the accord.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not backtrack on its demands, which it has put forth in a bid to reactivate the 2015 nuclear deal and get [US sanctions imposed on Tehran] removed,” Iran’s top negotiator said.
Bagheri Kani added that Iran's proposed drafts were “documented and logical” and therefore can be used as a basis for negotiations between Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries, which include the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.
The Iranian diplomat emphasized that the Islamic Republic believes in negotiations and is "optimistic" about their possible outcomes, but "unconstructive behavior of some signatories [to the JCPOA] and their constant violation of obligations force us not to be too optimistic."
Iran's lead negotiator said Tehran has presented its plans of action to representatives of the P4+1 at the seventh round of talks in Vienna in the form of two proposed draft texts, one related to the removal of oppressive and unlawful US sanctions and the other about the nuclear issue.
“These proposals are the basis for the negotiations, and the opposite side should give a documented response to the Iranian team's proposals. However, we will wait to see the outcome of the next round of talks, which will be held within the next few days,” Bagheri Kani added.
The JCPOA was abandoned by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018. Trump then targeted Iran’s economy with what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign, but he failed to compel Iran to negotiate a “new deal.”
Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US voiced interest to return to the agreement.