Nothing beyond JCPOA Acceptable to Iran: Spokesman

Nothing beyond JCPOA Acceptable to Iran: Spokesman

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh reiterated that Tehran will not accept anything beyond the 2015 nuclear deal in the talks on the revival of the agreement, saying it is necessary for the sanctions to be lifted in order to salvage the JCPOA.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde during his stay in Paris on September 29, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson set the conditions for a resumption of negotiations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Khatibzadeh underlined that the US must lift all sanctions imposed on Iran in order to hope for a rescue of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Asked about the meaning of “very soon” that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has said about the restart of the JCPOA negotiations, the spokesman said, “This is what was said the day the new Iranian government came to power. There are two things to take into account. Iran has considered whether to resume negotiations, and we have come to the conclusion that we will certainly resume them. Then there is a second phase which involves the evaluation of all the negotiations that have already been conducted to clarify all the dimensions, before entering into an active and effective dialogue. As soon as this reassessment takes place, we will not waste an hour before arriving in Vienna.”

Commenting on the Westerners’ concern about a delay in the resumption of the nuclear talks and the notion that Iran may “take advantage of it to continue its nuclear program”, Khatibzadeh said, “I understand your concern. But when (US) President (Joe) Biden took office, how many days did it take before the Americans got into the talks again? At the time, there was no European desire to revive the negotiations. They kept telling us, ‘Wait, be patient, it won't be long. The Americans are assessing the situation, they will certainly come to Vienna’.

“I doubt we have to wait as long as the Biden government waited before our government re-entered the Vienna negotiations. It has only been fifty days since the new Iranian government took office,” he added.

Asked whether Tehran will be asking for additional things, particularly the lifting of sanctions, Khatibzadeh said, “We wonder why six successive rounds of negotiations in Vienna have failed. The reasons and shortcomings must be assessed. It is necessary to correct a pathology, to change the points which have remained unsatisfied.”

“In this story, the United States is the party that left the nuclear deal, the party that imposed unilateral sanctions, caused suffering for the Iranian people, and caused billions in losses to the Iranian economy. The United States even punished those of its partners who wanted to trade with Iran,” he deplored.

In a meeting with his French counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, the Iranian foreign minister said Tehran is doubtful whether the Biden administration is serious about rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal, since it has not taken any practical step so far to honor its JCPOA commitments.

When it comes to the resumption of the talks on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, what is of extraordinary significance for the Iranian people is “practical and tangible results”, the top Iranian diplomat stated.

The US left the JCPOA in 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted. Tehran retaliated with remedial nuclear measures that it is entitled to take under the JCPOA’s Paragraph 36.

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