News ID: 323357
Published: 0314 GMT August 08, 2022

Nuclear negotiations end in new draft

Nuclear negotiations end in new draft

International Desk

Four days of intense negotiation in Vienna have raised hopes that the latest rounds of nuclear talks will finally satisfy all parties involved and conclude in an agreement.

The negotiation between the Iranian delegation and the P4+1 group, EU’s negotiator to the Vienna talks Enrique Mora, and the American representative, who participated indirectly, started on Thursday and was resumed on Monday in the absence of the Iranian party as it coincided with Ashura, the day in which the third Shia Imam was martyred. In spite of that, promising news emerged from Vienna's Palais Coburg Hotel on Sunday.

A senior EU official told Iran Daily that negotiations for writing a draft have concluded and “we have been able to produce a draft”. As the negotiating delegations leave Vienna, the official maintained that what happens next depends on their eventual response.

After meeting with Iranian and American delegations separately, the EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Enrique Mora also said on Sunday that the negotiation is progressing, expressing optimism about the result. The Russian Ambassador to the Vienna talks has also been optimistic.

The Wall Street Journal even quoted Mora as saying that the final draft was virtually complete at the time. However, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official told IRNA that “we are yet to reach a point where we can talk about finalizing the deal.”

Before departing to Vienna, Iranian chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani had maintained, “The negotiations are aimed at laying down necessary conditions for the return of the U.S. to the JCPOA”, adding that the seriousness and genuineness of Washington’s will to reach a deal will be put to a test. Earlier, he twitted that the ball is in the court of the U.S. and it must “show maturity and act responsibly.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that nuclear weapons have no place in the Islamic Republic's doctrine. Making the remark in a Thursday phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he once again emphasized that, “Iran is serious to reach a strong and durable agreement”, adding that the result of negotiations depends on whether or not the U.S. shows the necessary flexibility and practicality.

Of course, the negotiators have not disclosed the details of the talks or the points of dispute. But Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, stated that there are “three or four issues” left to be fully resolved.

Some media outlets have reported that the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) are one of the disputed issues in the latest round of talks. The West, and especially the U.S., is evidently insisting on separating the nuclear talks from the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the PMD case so that they can keep the door to making new claims against the deal open. Iran, however, has highlighted the necessity of resolving the PMD case in these talks.

The deputy director for political affairs at the Iranian president's office, Mohammad Jamshidi, reminded on Twitter what the Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi’s firm position was during his phone conversations with the presidents of France, Russia, and China. “The final agreement can only be reached when the safeguard disputes are settled,” the deputy quoted President Raeisi.

Although Iran had submitted its initiatives and ideas to other negotiating sides, the EU’s proposed plan is also on the table, a plan the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell has claimed to have taken into consideration Iran’s economic interests and the JCPOA’s continuity. This comes as, the E3 group of France, Britain, and Germany, which has taken part in the ongoing talks at the level of experts, through a statement with a nonconstructive tone on Friday, called on Iran not to make “unrealistic demands outside the JCPOA’s framework” and finalize the agreement. This is while Tehran has never made any demand beyond the scopes of the JCPOA, solely calling for the resolution of the PMD case, verifiable removal of the sanctions, and provision of guarantees for continuous commitment by the other sides to the deal.

Nevertheless, following his separate meetings with the representatives of Iran and the United States, Mora told IRNA that he is upbeat about the JCPOA's fate, adding, “We are moving forward and I expect that we would end the talks soon.”

Iran Daily found that the Iranian negotiating team has managed to press some of its JCPOA demands in the new round of the talks, defend them and achieve success in this regard.

Among these demands have been the removal of the sanctions and safeguarding of Iran’s economic interests under the JCPOA in a way to ensure continuous commitment by all parties, particularly the United States, to the potential agreement, preventing them from being able to deprive Iran of the deal’s economic interests under different pretexts in the future.

At present, as repeatedly stressed by Iranian officials, it is Washington’s turn to acquiesce to Iran’s legal rights. The United States and Europe have to decide whether they seek to learn their lessons from their previous experiences and look at the future horizons or still want to linger in the past by resorting to excuses such as the PMD case. Only time will reveal what their choice would be.

Last evening, the Iranian delegation left Vienna for Tehran but their consultation with Josep Borrell and the other parties is expected to continue.


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