The government of President-elect Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi will handle negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal if Iran’s demands are not met until the end of the current administration’s term, the government spokesman said on Tuesday.
In comments at a weekly press conference, Ali Rabiei said Iran had made clear its stances in the Vienna talks on the revitalization of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding that the talks in Vienna have reached a point where all parties should make their decisions.
“We have made and declared our decisions and are waiting for the other sides, including the United States, to announce their decisions so that we could discuss the matter more clearly, according to them, in the next round of negotiations,” Rabiei said, according to Tasnim News Agency.
“If our views are fulfilled, there won’t be a moment’s delay (in concluding an agreement), but if our demands are not met, the continuation of negotiations would be deferred to the next government,” he added.
The spokesman elaborated that agreements have been reached on the removal of sanctions on the main sectors of Iran’s economy, such as the energy, banking and insurance sectors.
However, he said, failure to achieve a consensus on all of the topics on the agenda of the talks will mean that no agreement has been shaped in practice.
Since April, representatives from Iran, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China as well as the European Union have been holding talks in the Austrian capital to salvage the JCPOA and bring the US back to compliance.
In 2015, Iran and the world powers signed the JCPOA that put limits on Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for the removal of US sanctions, but the deal was abandoned three years later by former US president Donald Trump, who reimposed sanctions.
In retaliation, Iran dropped key commitments under the deal a year later.
US President Joe Biden is eager to rejoin the agreement but Iran wants the US to lift all Trump-era sanctions before reentering the deal.
Deal with IAEA
Rabiei also said Iran is examining the possibility of extending an agreement allowing the UN atomic watchdog to continue monitoring some of the country’s nuclear sites.
Under a law passed in December by Iran’s Parliament, Tehran in February restricted the access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to some of its nuclear facilities.
Iran has refused since then to provide in real time the recordings of the cameras and other surveillance tools that the IAEA has installed in these locations. The IAEA and Tehran have nevertheless negotiated a compromise, making it possible to guarantee a certain degree of monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program.
The monitoring equipment remains in the IAEA’s custody, but the data is in the possession of Iran and should not be deleted as long as the arrangement remains in force, AFP wrote.
Concluded for an initial period of three months, the compromise was extended for a further month, expiring on June 24, and the IAEA wants Iran to renew it.
Regarding the agreement with the IAEA, “We are examining the need [to renew it] and any other possibility,” Rabiei said.
On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said “no decision” on the deletion or retention of the recorded data had been taken yet.