TEHRAN (Iran News) – Exchanges of Claims: Although the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has reiterated that Iran will return to its the JCPOA commitments only all sanctions are removed and verified, and Majlis also has been serious in pursuing this demand, there are controversies in the remarks of officials participating in the Vienna JCPOA talks and everyday one party claims something which is denied by the other side.
President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said that Iran has the upper hand in negotiations.
“Our negotiations now are different from the ones in 2013. Now, Iran has the upper hand in negotiations,” said Rouhani, adding, “We are not talking about the JCPOA right now. The talks about the JCPOA is over and now we are talking about how to allow the United States to return to the deal,” he said, adding, “We are now reviving the JCPOA.”
“We agreed with the P5+1 on important and fundamental issues,” Rouhani said.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also denied Iranian President Rouhani’s statement that there is already an agreement in principle, saying “that would be news to us…. It remains an unanswered question whether Iran is actually prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance. The jury is still out on that.”
In a contradictory remarks, Iran’s chief negotiator at the Vienna talks says a number of hot-button issues remain to be resolved during discussions by the negotiating teams.
“The issues which have remained to be finalized and decided on are important issues,” said Abbas Araqchi.
“Of course, the number of these issues has decreased,” he underlined.
He said good headway has been made with drawing up the text of an agreement.
“However, the remaining issues are key ones which should be decided on,” Araqchi explained.
“Many of the delegations hope this will be the last round of talks and we will be able to reach a conclusion,” he added.
“We can be hopeful that this will happen, but we should be a little cautious, too,” Araqchi added.
He said Iran is seeking an agreement that would address its demands.
Meanwhile U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said her country will be careful in how it decides to lift sanctions from Iran if current talks in Austria on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, better known as JCPOA, bear fruit.
Yellen made the remarks on Thursday while answering questions about Iran and its support for Palestinian groups in the Committee on Oversight and Reform in the United States House of Representatives, according to a report by the IRNA news agency and other international outlets.
The remarks showed that the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden would have second thoughts about lifting sanctions imposed on Iran by his predecessor Donald Trump more than three years ago when he decided to abandon the JCPOA.
Talks involving Iran and six other parties to the JCPOA have continued in Vienna in an effort to bring Tehran and Washington back to compliance with the deal.
However, Yellen said the U.S. will decide what sanctions it will deem appropriate to lift if Iran resumes compliance with the nuclear deal.
“So we will carefully review what sanctions relief would be appropriate if Iran takes the appropriate steps,” she said.
Yellen had made the remarks while clarifying U.S. position on Iran’s support for Palestinians resisting Israeli occupation nearly a week after a war between Israel and the Gaza-based resistance group Hamas ended in a ceasefire.
It seems the war of attrition and exchange of refusing claims will continue and Iran should take its firm stand against this behavior of the West and especially the U.S.
Iranian negotiating team should not retreat any inch from the red lines set by the Supreme Leader and it should not fall in trap of void pledges of the West like the 2015 talks and signing the deal which was one-sidedly violated by the U.S.
Although it seemed the West is trying to prolong the talks in favor of a moderate and reformist government to come into power in the June presidential election, the recent developments in Iran and announcement of the final hopefuls for the election may accelerate the talks because there is no chance for a reformist government to take power and the Westerns have to come to terms with a principality and revolutionary government which will not bow down to the West’s pressure.
The negotiating team should wrap up very fast the talks to take the country out of this current indecisiveness, as the economy and trade is in a stand-by condition tied to the JCPOA talks’ outcome. The sooner, the better will be for the future of the country.