News ID: 314910
Published: 0214 GMT July 18, 2021

Vienna talks must await Iran’s democratic transition: Chief negotiator

Vienna talks must await Iran’s democratic transition: Chief negotiator

Iran's top negotiator said on Saturday that the next round of talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal must wait until the new Iranian government takes office in August.

"We're in a transition period as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital. Vienna talks must thus obviously await our new administration. This is what every democracy demands," Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi tweeted on Saturday.

Iran has held talks since April in the Austrian capital with Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia to restore the troubled nuclear agreement, officially called the JCPOA.

A sixth round of talks concluded on June 20 and dates for the next round have not been fixed.

The JCPOA offered Tehran international sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, but was torpedoed in 2018 when former US president Donald Trump withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions, AFP wrote.

Trump's successor Joe Biden has signaled his readiness to return to the deal and has engaged in indirect negotiations.

Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, a conservative, won Iran’s presidential election in June and will on August 5 replace moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Rouhani had repeatedly promised that he would succeed in getting the US to lift sanctions before the end of his term, but on Wednesday indicated this would no longer be possible, noting that negotiations would not be complete before he left office.

Earlier this month, Iran s’ Foreign Ministry said the policies it has been pursuing on the JCPOA are among the “fundamental positions” of the Islamic Republic and thus will not undergo any change when the new government takes over.

Disagreements have persisted over a number of issues in the course of the talks, including how to sequence the US sanctions removal, with Tehran arguing that since Washington was the party that violated the terms of the agreement, it should take the first step back into compliance with the deal by removing its unilateral sanctions.

Tehran has also asked for guarantees that the US won’t again leave the JCPOA under a new administration but the Biden administration says it cannot give such guarantees, Press TV wrote.

Iran is also dissatisfied with the scope of sanctions that the US is willing to remove, saying the US sanctions removal must cover all the sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic after the JCPOA went into force in January 2016.

The US has asked for follow-on talks about other issues, such as Iran’s missile program, which Tehran has strongly rejected.


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