Analyst: Iran Needs to Caution West of Time Limit for Negotiations
Analyst: Iran Needs to Caution West of Time Limit for Negotiations
Senior Political Analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm noted the requirements of the Iranian parliament’s law for Strategic Measures to Counter Sanctions, which call for enhancement of Iran's remedial measures, and said Tehran needs to caution the West that the time frame for the West's compliance with their nuclear deal undertaking is not open.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –The Iranian parliament early December ratified the law for Strategic Measures to Counter Sanctions and Parliament Speaker Mohamamd Baqer Qalibaf in December notified the government of the new law which inter alia requires the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to boost the country’s nuclear capabilities, specially in areas of uranium enrichment, Arak Heavy Water Reactor and more advanced generations of centrifuge machines.

Based on the law, Iran in February stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the NPT after the Biden administration refrained from removing the sanctions against Iran in compliance with the terms of UN Resolution 2231 and the nuclear deal.

Khoshcheshm believes that Iranian negotiators need to remind the European states and the US that the clock is ticking for them and the cost of their procrastination is Tehran’s next steps based on the parliament’s law.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran should constantly remind the West that Iran is waiting for the lifting of sanctions within the framework of the recent parliament approval and other steps of this law will be implemented if time is lost. Iran should constantly maintain such pressure on the other side,” Khoshcheshm said.

“It should be noticed that the US and Europe intend to bring major changes to the form and agenda of the talks in the Vienna meeting as they first seek to establish a direct or indirect contact with Iran, and therefore seek to attend the meetings and start marathon talks to wear off Iran’s resolve, i.e. its demands for a total removal of all sanctions imposed on the nation in the past four years and a verification of the lifting of the sanctions. Hence, the Iranian side should not allow the US presence in the joint commission meeetings,” Khoshcheshm said.

He warned that the US also seeks to change the agenda of the meetings to Nuclear Deal 2.0 and then expand the scope of the talks to other issues such as Iran’s missile and regional power, instead of lifting the sanctions. “Hence, Iran needs to stand firm to keep the meetings focused on the removal of all sanctions.”

The JCPOA Joint Commission held its 18th round of talks in the Austrian city of Vienna, with representatives of Iran, Russia, China, France and Britain in attendance.

The US has been absent from the Commission and its discussions since 2018, when former American president Donald Trump took Washington out of the JCPOA and returned the sanctions that the nuclear accord had lifted.

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee had on Tuesday reiterated his country’s position that the remedial measures adopted under the nuclear deal to retaliate the world powers’ disloyalty to the agreement will not be reversed by Iran until the US lifts all its sanctions.

“Implementation of the nuclear deal is as simple as its violation by the US. Iran will not reverse the steps it has taken in reduction of its obligations until the sanctions are completely lifted. No step-by-step plan has been announced by us and Iran has not accepted any such plan,” Rabiyee told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

He referred to the today meeting of the nuclear deal Joint Commission in Vienna, and said, “Today, we are at the beginning of a plan to revive the nuclear deal and the US government has no choice but to end its law-breaking behavior and illegal sanctions.”

Rabiyee said that the agenda of the Tuesday meeting in Vienna is to lift the US cruel sanctions against Iran and studying ways that the other side fulfills its undertakings.

“What Iran will do is within the framework of the previous declaration, that is lifting of all US sanctions and all sanctions imposed on the Iranian people or re-imposed or relabeled on different pretexts after Trump came to power, and all these should be removed, and this is a clear logic, and all these measures should be verified,” he added.

“We welcome any US move to correct the wrong path of the past and return to the right path. No direct or indirect talks with no US sides has or will take place in Vienna or anywhere else. We will provide the G4+1 with the course of action that the US should pave and the comprehensive sanctions that it should lift,” Rabiyee said.

He also underlined Iran’s good progress in developing its peaceful nuclear program, and said, “So far, 6 complete IR2M cascades have been installed in Natanz. Also, two complete IR4 cascades and one complete IR6 cascade have been installed. The capacity of the installed centrifuge machines is currently 16,500 SWUs (Separative Working Units), while the maximum capacity before the nuclear deal stood at 13,000 SWUs.”

Iran announced on Sunday that the country’s officials will have no talks with their American counterparts in Vienna, saying that Tehran will only hold technical negotiations with the Group 4+1.

“In Vienna, we will not have any talks with the Americans, either directly or indirectly. We will negotiate with the Joint Commission and the G4 + 1 countries, and we will declare our demand and condition to return to the nuclear deal,” Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said, and added, “Our demand and condition is that the US should first fulfill all its nuclear deal undertakings and lift all sanctions, and then we will verify it and return (to our modified undertakings).”

He described the Tuesday talks with the G4+1 as technical, and said they will focus on the sanctions which should be lifted and the measures that should be adopted and their order and sequence, and the verifying measures which need to be taken.

“We do not have or accept any step-by-step proposal. In our view, there is no step but one that the US should take; it should lift all sanctions that were re-imposed during Trump’s era or were imposed recently or re-labeled, and these should be defined, and the US should lift them, and then we will verify and revive our undertakings,” Araqchi said.

“The final step that they and we have to take should be precisely specified, and it will be clear only in our technical talks with the G4+1 countries,” he added.

Iran’s foreign ministry had also on Saturday dismissed any step-by-step lifting of the illegal US sanctions entailing reciprocal actions by Tehran and Washington, stressing that Iran won’t concede to any plan for the revival of nuclear deal except for a full removal of all sanctions beforehand.

“As has been clearly stated many times, no step-by-step plan is being considered,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

“The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all US sanctions, whether those which Trump re-imposed after leaving the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] or those which he initiated, as well as sanctions imposed under any other title,” he added.

His remarks came in response to claims made by US State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Jalina Porter, who has said on Friday that Washington would lift sanctions step-by-step in line with Iran’s return to its commitments.

Also, on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Commission meeting in Vienna is due to finalize the moves needed to revive the nuclear deal, but further rejected any kind of talks with the US.

“At virtual JCPOA JC meeting, Iran & EU/E3+2 agreed to resume in-person talks in Vienna next Tues,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter page, pointing to the JCPOA Joint Commission that was held virtually earlier on the day, adding that the Tuesday session will be focused on ‘rapidly’ finalizing the lifting of sanctions by the US.

He noted that once the sanctions are removed, Iran will stop its remedial measures.

Zarif also reacted to some reports on the US’ presence in the upcoming meeting, saying there won’t be any Iran-US meeting as it would be “Unnecessary”.