In a post written on his Instagram page, Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for supporting the Iranian negotiators, who are in Vienna to discuss the issues surrounding the deal, also called the JCPOA, saying the Leader’s recent remarks “once again, as in previous difficult times, revived hopes and made [our] steps stronger”.
“The Leader’s advice to refrain from attritional negotiations has always been a beacon for us,” Zarif said, according to Press TV.
"We considered ‘negotiations for the sake of negotiations’ a failed experience and we negotiated only to achieve national goals," he added.
In his Wednesday remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei warned against protracted talks with JCPOA parties –France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — saying he has directed Iranian negotiators to proceed with the talks for now.
“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.
Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran under a “maximum pressure” campaign.
Iran fully honored its nuclear commitments under the deal for an entire year after the US pullout, but it began to scale down its commitments on May 8, 2019. The decision was made as part of Iran’s right under articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA in response to the breach of the agreement by the other side.
Tehran has also rejected repeated calls by the administration of US President Joe Biden for direct talks over the JCPOA, arguing that the US is no longer a party to the deal and that it first needs to return to its commitments by removing the sanctions before it can attend multilateral JCPOA meetings with Iran.
“As we did not accept talks leading to a photo op in the past four years, today we will seriously refuse to engage in negotiations for the sake of negotiations as well,” Zarif said.
He said the government of President Hassan Rouhani sees negotiations as a powerful and legitimate tool to resolve problems, rather than a tribune for making speeches or a stage for taking photos.
Iran’s chief negotiator at Vienna talks also said Tehran does not seek protracted negotiations on the fate of the JCPOA, warning that the country would take action if the talks are not constructive.
“We are not after talks of attrition and the negotiations that are only time-consuming and aimed at [holding] talks for the sake of talks,” Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Thursday.
Araqchi made the remarks before the start of a meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, which was attended by all the parties to the deal in Vienna.
He said if the negotiations proceed in a constructive way, Iran will continue the talks, otherwise necessary action will be taken.