0859 GMT October 06, 2022
The pursuit of an effective regional diplomacy by the administration of Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi helped render U.S. sanctions ineffective and provided the country’s negotiating team with more elbow room for achieving a principled agreement in the talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iranian lawmaker Mojtaba Yousefi made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, saying the through pursuing a robust and active diplomacy, the Iranian administration has managed to safeguard the country’s interests.
The MP added that the administration’s foreign policy team has put in a good performance in the nuclear talks by refraining from tying the country’s economic plans, people’s livelihoods, foreign and domestic components, as well as other national issues to the fate of the nuclear deal, saying the government knew very well that other factors are at play in efforts to revive the agreement.
Yousefi noted, however, that the former government of president Hassan Rouhani had pinned all its hope for the resolution of the country’s issues on reaching the nuclear agreement with the West; it had put all its eggs in one basket, which failed to bear fruit.
The Raeisi administration has, of course, proved to be a proponent of dialogue with other countries and a true believer in conducting an active diplomacy and interaction with the world, he stressed.
“We have, so far, had good performance in the field of promoting successful regional, transregional and multifaceted diplomacy and have reaped benefits from such an approach in the field of expanding economic relations and cooperation with neighbors. In addition, we are witnessing the promotion of new cooperation with friendly and neighboring states in the energy and foreign trade sectors.”
The lawmaker added the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development has also made good achievements in preparing the ground for the creation of new corridors in the air, sea, rail and road transportation sectors between Iran and the regional states.
Describing as important the development of relations with neighbors, Yousefi said that if the administration continues its approach of boosting ties with neighboring states, the enemies’ hostile policies, such as imposition of sanctions, will not be able to touch either Iran or the regional countries.
He warned against remaining silent and acting passively in the face of Westerners’ oppression and bullying, as such an approach would solely embolden them to violate the country’s national interests and utter threats against the Islamic Republic.
As was witnessed in the case of Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in 2019, in the absence of Iran’s proportionate reaction to the hostile action and its confiscation of a British ship in the Persian Gulf, London would not have taken Tehran’s warnings seriously.
The parliamentarian called on the West to understand that although Iran favors negotiations and is in no way after adventurism, when the country’s security and national interests are jeopardized, it will have no fear and will defend its rights.
He added if we act passively in the face of the West’s hostile approach, the same scenario will await the country that was unfolded during 2013-20 with regard to the nuclear deal, when Tehran granted many concessions to the other sides and reaped no benefits from the pact.
Yousefi said, however, when the Raeisi administration, which took office in August 2021, began to reciprocate the Westerners’ hostile policies and, like them, resorted to the component of power, it managed to bring greater dividends, on the one hand, and made the West more willing to reach an agreement with Tehran, on the other.
In the nuclear talks, the MP noted, three issues are important to Iran: The first pertains to the removal of U.S. sanctions on certain organizations, such as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), that play an important role in ensuring the country’s security and development.
Second is the resolution of the safeguards issues and those pertaining to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) modus operandi in terms of inspecting Iranian nuclear sites and materials, on which incorrect information is spread by the likes of the Israeli regime, which baselessly claim that Tehran’s nuclear activities are not peaceful, making the situation for the Islamic Republic more difficult.
Third is the provision of guarantees by the other sides for remaining committed to a potential agreement to be reached at the end of the talks, as Tehran has negotiated the nuclear issue for close to two decades so that it would be able to benefit from the 2015 deal and gain access to its frozen assets in foreign banks, he noted.
The member of Parliament stressed that these issues must be incorporated in the potential nuclear agreement, warning against making haste in terms of reviving the deal.
Iran signed the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the P5+1 in July 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions on the country. However, in May 2018, former U.S. president Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter, after a year of strategic patience, to drop some of its commitments under the pact.
The talks on the JCPOA’s revival began in April 2021 in Vienna, but were suspended in March this year because of political differences between Tehran and Washington.
The latest round of the nuclear talks was held in the Austrian capital in early August after a five-month hiatus. On August 8, the EU proposed a final draft of the agreement on reviving the JCPOA, awaiting political decisions from the participants in the negotiations.
Tehran on Tuesday announced that it has presented its written response about the last version of the potential Vienna agreement’s draft to the EU, announcing that if the U.S. reacts realistically and shows flexibility, a nuclear agreement would be reached.