Iran: No guarantee Vienna talks to revive JCPOA will ‘cross finish line’
Iran’s top negotiator says the talks in Vienna on reviving the 2015 deal are near conclusion, cautioning that there is no guarantee negotiators will be able to cross the “finish line” without “certain decisions” by the West.
“Being near the finish line is no guarantee to crossing that” by sealing an accord aimed at putting the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on track, Ali Bagheri Kani said in a post on his Twitter account on Thursday.
“It requires extra caution, much perseverance, additional creativity and a balanced approach to take the last step,” he said. “To finish the job, there are certain decisions that our Western interlocutors need to take.”
He was apparently responding to remarks by his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Ulyanov, who said in a tweet on Tuesday, “Apparently the negotiations on restoration of JCPOA are about to cross the finish line.”
The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — on the assumption that the US, under the Joe Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy pursued by former president Donald Trump.
Tehran says it won’t settle for anything less than the removal of all US sanctions in a verifiable manner. It also wants guarantees that Washington would not abandon the agreement again.
In a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said good progress has been made in the talks in Vienna with the P4+1 states, but in order to achieve a final agreement, the Western side is required to take a “courageous and realistic” political decision that guarantees Tehran’s interests, especially the objective removal of sanctions.
The Iranian chief negotiator returned home Wednesday night for a short stay within the framework of ordinary travels to the capital. However, the Iranian experts will continue the negotiations in Vienna.
Senior negotiators from the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- the UK, France and Germany -- also returned to their respective capitals this week for consultations.
Meanwhile, Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi traveled to the Austrian capital on Wednesday to hold technical consultations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Final stage in Vienna talks requires West’s political decision: Iran security chief
Meanwhile, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said on Thursday that Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have managed to make considerable progress in the course of the Vienna talks, but the final phase would require "Western political decision-making" aimed at solving the “outstanding issues of high importance.”
“It is possible to achieve a good agreement thanks to the significant progress made in the negotiations, which was mainly due to Iran's initiatives,” Iran’s top security official said in a tweet.