0539 GMT July 31, 2021
In an exclusive interview with passblue.com on Sunday, Rafael Grossi added, “I want to sit down with the new leadership and build trust and a relationship as soon as we can.”
Commenting on the IAEA’s role in talks between Iran and the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), namely Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, in Vienna, Grossi said, “We are not party to the negotiations. We try to support the process by consulting with the negotiators.”
Representatives of Iran and Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have been engaged in the Vienna process since early April with the purpose of finding ways to bring the US back to the deal and prepare the ground for its full implementation, according to Press TV.
A US delegation is also in the Austrian capital, but it is not attending the discussions directly because the United States is not a party to the accord any longer.
On behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the meetings are chaired by Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora.
In May 2018, former US president Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA, signed between Tehran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the JCPOA had lifted.
He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign and in a bid to bring Tehran to the negotiating table and hammer out a new deal.
Mainly targeting Iran’s oil and banking sectors, the sanctions failed to produce the desired result owing to Iranians’ maximum resistance.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of noncompliance by other signatories, and suspend some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Now, the new US administration says it wants to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it is apparently seeking to maintain some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.
Tehran insists that all the sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.