TEHRAN (Iran News) – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that the ongoing talks between Iran and the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) should not take long.
Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday that he has directed Iranian diplomats to proceed with the negotiations, but cautioned them the talks should not drag on.
“The talks shouldn’t become talks of attrition,” the Leader said. “They shouldn’t be in a way that parties drag on and prolong the talks. This is harmful to the country.”
“The fact that the Americans talk about engaging in direct and indirect negotiations (with Iran) is not because they want to negotiate to accept the truth, rather they want to negotiate to impose their wrongful argument” on Iran, the Leader noted.
An Iranian delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi is in Vienna, Austria, for another round of talks with the G4+1 aimed at finding a way for the US to rejoin the nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The US, under former president Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the agreement and reimposed sanctions against Iran, which the accord had lifted.
The Trump administration subsequently launched what it touted as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force the Islamic Republic to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the Islamic Republic’s position on the issue, that the US — as the party that has repeatedly reneged on its obligations in the past– should first remove the sanctions, is privately shared by some Europeans involved in the talks.
“However, when it comes to decision-making, they bow to the Americans and do not act independently,” the Leader said.
“Most of the proposals by the Americans are arrogant and contemptuous. They are not worth looking at,” Ayatollah Khamenei noted.
Iran’s Permanent Representative to Vienna-based International Organizations Kazzem Qaribabadi said last Friday that the US should remove all anti-Iran sanctions in practice rather than on paper, stressing that only then Iran will comply with its nuclear undertakings.
“The sanctions must be removed practically, not on paper,” Qaribabadi said, adding that the issue has been stressed several times by the Iranian officials, specially Ayatollah Khamenei.
“That is why the Leader of the Revolution also raised the issue of verifying the removal of sanctions and it became the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is reflected, stressed and followed up in various talks,” he noted.
Qaribabadi said that a verifiable removal should enable Iran to conduct banking transactions through international banks and monetary channels.
“Only then, one can be assured that the removal of sanctions has practical effects,” he noted,
He explained Iran’s stance on removal of sanctions, saying, “First, all the sanctions that were lifted under the JCPOA but were re-imposed by the US administration (under Trump) must be removed. Second, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions in addition to the sanctions that were removed under the JCPOA. These sanctions must be removed as well. Third, there are sanctions that were imposed under non-nuclear pretexts. These sanctions must also be removed completely.”