TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran will return to Vienna talks. In the past days, several Iranian officials have indicated that Tehran welcomes negotiations in principle, but opposes negotiation with pressure. This clearly shows that Iran is more than ready to have fruitful talks with any country, but is the other side willing too?
Speaking in his first live TV interview on September 5, President Ebrahim Raisi stated that Iran is not opposed to the principle of negotiations, however, negotiations under pressure is unacceptable.
“Negotiations is an option as a tool for diplomacy, but negotiation under pressure and threats is not acceptable at all,” the president insisted.
He added that dialogue has already been tested but it has not worked, referring to the “maximum pressure” policy that Donald Trump exercised against Iran during his presidency.
“Americans and Europeans have experienced that dialogue with pressure don’t go together,” he noted.
One year after Trump quit the 2015 nuclear deal and returned sanctions, Iran started to gradually remove cap on its nuclear activities.
Raisi underscored that the issue of nuclear talks is still on the agenda, but negotiations must be fruitful.
“The focus of our talks is the interests of the Iranian people and the complete lifting of sanctions, from which we will not take a step back,” the president highlighted.
“We will not hesitate to talk and negotiate in any way, but what Westerners and Americans want is dialogue under pressure. Does that mean dialogue? If pressure is to be on the side of dialogue, what kind of dialogue is this?” he asked.
This clearly indicated that Iran will definitely return to the negotiations table in Vienna. Although the other side is keeping the pressure on Iran, but the Islamic Republic will not hastily return to Grand Hotel. First things first. Iran needs guarantees. Is the other side willing to negotiate “seriously” and in goodwill, or it will come back to Vienna to protract talks? Signals have shown that the U.S. and EU are trying to buy time to impose new conditions on Iran. It seems they have forgotten that Vienna is a venue for a return to an internationally recognized agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and not for drafting a new text.
Iran will not wait forever for Washington’s pressure tools. That is what Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told a weekly press briefing.
The diplomat also said the Vienna talks are completely technical and are intended to ensure a full implementation of the JCPOA by the United States and the remaining parties.
The nuclear talks to revive the JCPOA started in April. Six rounds of talks were held until June. The talks are expected to be resumed now that a new administration in Iran has taken the helm.
Khatibzadeh added the nuclear talks in Vienna are not to reach a new text or accepting new commitments by Iran.
Addressing the Washington officials, the diplomat said, “The American officials have been imposing sanctions and economic terrorism against the Iranian people for many years, and they should know that Iran will not wait forever for the United States to put pressure on the Iranian people with the illegal leverage of sanctions.”
Khatibzadeh added Iran will not wait forever for the Americans to fulfill their commitments. “This is a limited window for Washington, and we hope that U.S. officials will be in Vienna with a clear agenda to implement their commitments and lift sanctions.”
There is a speculation that the next round of the Vienna negotiations will be held after the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors in late September, yet the IAEA must be wary not to make any provocative moves to discourage Iran from returning to the Vienna negotiations, as spokesman Khatibzadeh said on Monday.
“The next meeting of the Board of Governors is a regular one. I have said before, and I emphasize now, that neither side should make a miscalculation, not go in a direction that affects the negotiations in Vienna,” Khatibzadeh said when asked about a possible visit by Rafael Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency chief, to Iran on the eve of the board meeting.
Speaking to reporters in his regular news briefing, he said, “The political use of the Agency’s technical platform will lead to a different response from Iran.”
On the type of interaction between Iran and the IAEA, Khatibzadeh said, “Relations between Iran and the Agency are technical and respectful. There is a deep and right understanding between the two sides and we hope that the others will not interfere in this understanding.”
Now that a new administration wants to start fresh, it is best if the other side returns to the negotiation table with some respect to Iran, and show some seriousness.