Iran says success of Vienna talks hinges on removal of US sanctions
Iran calls the complete removal of US sanctions its “red line” during the course of negotiations with the remaining signatories to the 2015 deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh urged Washington to bring substance to the talks to immediately reach an agreement.
He said Tehran expects the other sides at the talks, especially Washington, to make the necessary decisions before returning to Vienna on Tuesday to resume the talks.
“The issue of sanctions removal and benefits from the economic dimensions of the JCPOA is Iran’s red line in the talks,” Khatibzadeh said, using an acronym for the 2015 deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – which the US has pulled out of.
The spokesman also criticized European parties to the JCOPA, arguing that they have frequently failed to honor their obligations and must therefore remedy their shortcomings.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also said on Monday that Tehran’s demands have not been fully considered with regard to the removal of sanctions.
Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed 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.
In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.
The US administration of President Joe Biden says it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for 10 months in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.
The eighth round of the talks has been put on pause as diplomats returned to their capitals for consultations. The talks will resume on Tuesday.