An ultimate triumph for Iran will take place at the conclusion of the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
“I promise the Iranian nation that the Vienna talks will end in the victory for Iran,” Rouhani said in cabinet meeting.
“Big steps have been taken so far,” the president said of the talks in the Austrian capital where Iran and the remaining parties of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have held weekly meetings, mediated by the European Union, since early April to bring back the US to compliance with the deal.
Former US president Donald Trump walked out of the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign. The withdrawal prompted Iran to drop its commitments to the deal gradually in retaliation.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden seeks to rejoin the deal.
Rouhani said Biden’s willingness to return to the JCPOA shows that the policy of “maximum pressure” has failed.
“The new US administration has repeatedly stated that maximum pressure on Iran was wrong, acknowledging defeat and insisting that it come to the negotiating table,” he said.
This is a great victory for Iran that nearly all top US officials have conceded defeat, the president added.
Rouhani said his government wants to have the sanctions terminated and resolve the problems with the exports and imports, criticizing parties inside Iran that are angry with the government’s push to revitalize the JCPOA.
Iran wants the US to remove all sanctions imposed by Trump before reentering the nuclear deal.
The delegates wrapped up the fourth round of the talks in Vienna.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi pointed to the “good progress” achieved in over the past two weeks, saying the capitals of the JCPOA parties will need to make decisions about a number of key issues.
“I believe that good progress has been made over the past two weeks, which was the fourth round of negotiations, and a number of key issues remain that need further consultations and decisions by the capitals,” Araqchi, who leads Iran’s negotiating team, said.
He expressed hope that the necessary decisions would be made so that the JCPOA parties would arrive at a conclusion in the next round of the talks, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“There is agreement on the other issues. The texts have been drafted nicely. So this is the time to return to the capitals to hold the latest consultations. We will proceed with the talks afterward,” the chief negotiator noted.
Earlier this week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh ruled out a “preliminary agreement”, saying there would be only one agreement encompassing all aspects of measures that need to be taken to revive the JCPOA, Press TV reported.
“In the current situation, there is no such thing as a preliminary agreement and no agreement would be reached unless everything is agreed upon,” Khatibzadeh said.
Khatibzadeh explained that there have been progress as well as differences in separate aspects of the talks that began early last month between Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear pact, officially known as the JCPOA, with the aim of bringing the US back into compliance with the deal, three years after it unilaterally left the accord.
He said Araqchi met with European diplomats on Sunday, and decided to expedite concluding the works of the three working groups that were formed to address different issues surrounding the revival of the deal.
The spokesman said a high percentage of the final draft’s blank spaces has been filled within the working groups, but what remains to be filled is also significant.
On a looming deadline set by Iran for the removal of US sanctions, Khatibzadeh said there have been talks to extend the deadline if the negotiations remain on the right path by that day.
Iran is set to delete the footage recorded at its nuclear sites on May 21 if the other parties fail to remove Washington’s illegal sanctions. The move came as part of Tehran’s reductions of its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA over noncompliance by Washington.
Khatibzadeh said even if the deadline is extended, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not be able to conduct short-notice inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, as Tehran has already suspended its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol.