TEHRAN (Iran News) – It’s US actions, not Iran election, that determine course of Vienna talks. An Iranian official has rejected speculation that the results of the country’s upcoming presidential election could influence the negotiations in Vienna on a potential revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, saying it is in fact the United States’ actions, not the vote, that determine the course of the talks.
“The result of the presidential election in Iran has nothing to do with the ongoing talks in [the Austrian capital of] Vienna,” Shahrokh Nazemi, head of the media office at Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations told Newsweek.
It would instead be Washington’s actions that determined the course of the discussions between Tehran and the remaining signatories to the deal, formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the US abandoned under ex-President Donald Trump in 2018.
“The US’ attitude and willingness to move away from the failed policies of the past will contribute most to the success of the negotiations,” Nazemi said. “There is a widespread consensus across the Iranian system on our approach towards JCPOA.”
Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, says his administration wants to rejoin the deal, but Tehran says it must first lift all the sanctions Washington imposed on Iran in the aftermath of leaving the JCPOA practically and verifiably before it can come back.
The Vienna talks that started in early April between Tehran and the remaining parties have been focused on getting the US to lift the sanctions so that Iran will reverse the retaliatory steps it has taken away from the agreement in harmony with Article 26 of the JCPOA.
Nazemi stressed Iran’s position that the onus was on the US to take the first step back toward the JCPOA.
“As we have said on numerous occasions, as soon as the US lifts its sanctions in accordance with its JCPOA obligations, and that is fully verified, Iran will immediately return to its JCPOA obligations,” he added.
Nazemi said the outgoing administration in Tehran is only seeking to secure a “good agreement” on the steps that Washington must take to regain the right to be a JCPOA party, and that it would not settle for less.
“In so doing, we are in no rush to agree on something that is imperfect,” he said.
On Wednesday, both Tehran and the other participants in the Vienna talks — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — said there had been some progress in the process, but that the differences still remained.
“We have made some progress on them,” top Iranian negotiator Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said during an interview with Iran’s Press TV on the sidelines of the discussions. “But we are still not in a position to say that we have a clear answer for them and a clear solution, actually, for these key issues.”
If Iran returns to compliance with JCPOA, we’ll do the same: Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said Washington would return to the old nuclear deal, and that if the two were on the verge of reaching a solution, “that would be news to us.”
“I think we’ve clarified increasingly what each side would need to do to come back into compliance with the JCPOA, but it remains an unanswered question whether Iran is actually prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance,” Blinken told Israel’s Channel 12. “The jury is still out on that.”
Iran, P4+1 look for ‘acceptable’ solutions: Russia
Meanwhile, Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna, said on Wednesday that efforts were continuing by Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA to smooth over diverging views to achieve a common goal.“The delegations at the Vienna talks often have different views on topics under discussion, but all of them share unity of purpose which is to bring the talks to a successful conclusion,” Ulyanov said in a post on his Twitter account. “To this end they look for solutions acceptable to all.”