“Iran will never leave the talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal,” said the Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi. The remark came a day after the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that he is less optimistic about reaching a quick agreement on the revival of the JCPOA.
Iran and the U.S. are reviewing each other’s feedback on the latest draft proposed by the EU. However, Borrell said on Monday that the last interaction is not converging, it is diverging. Describing the shift as “very much worrisome”, he claimed that it may jeopardize the whole process.
Mohammad Marandi, an expert close to the Iranian negotiating team tweeted, “Borrell is a U.S. ally and forgets that the reason for these negotiations are western violations of the JCPOA and maximum pressure sanctions targeting Iranian citizens even as Iran was in full compliance. Iran will not accept loopholes & ambiguities. The U.S. is imposing costs on the EU.”
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s top negotiator to the Vienna talks, also maintained, “It’s clear that Iran will not accept loopholes and ambiguities,” adding that he’s not sure if the EU forgot who is responsible for the current situation.
Marandi seems to be hinting at the dispute between Tehran and Washington over the safeguards issues, particularly the possible military dimensions (PMD) case, wherein the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) falsely claims that undisclosed nuclear materials were found in a few places in Iran.
Iran stresses that the case is old and the disagreement between Tehran and the IAEA is to be negotiated and included in the final draft of the nuclear deal. The other side, however, has not shared Tehran’s views so far.
On Tuesday, Bahadori Jahromi stated that four issues of guarantees, practical verifications, removal of sanctions, and the IAEA claims regarding safeguards issues were pursued in the Vienna talks. He reiterated that Iran has never left the negotiating table and we will not do so in the future as well. “The talks are still underway, and the opposite side should abandon its excessive demands,” he said, pointing to the “constructive path” that has been taken.
On the other hand, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Lindsey Graham have emphasized on their trip to Occupied Palestine that Biden’s government is committed to submitting any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program to Congress for review. Menendez said that the IAEA investigation of Iranian nuclear sites should not be halted for the sake of reaching an agreement with Iran. Graham added that there would be bipartisan opposition to any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.