Jan 9, 2022, 6:54 PM
Journalist ID: 1843
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Developing but slow steps in Vienna talks

Tehran, IRNA – As the talks in Vienna, Austria, for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and lifting anti-Iran sanctions have been moving forward at a slow pace, the Western players have resorted to new tactics such as playing with the card of the time limit in a bid to force Iranians to retreat from their rightful demands.

The eighth round of the Joint Commission meetings of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is also the second round during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s tenure, was resumed at Palais Coburg in Vienna on January 3 following a three-day pause due to the New Year’s holidays.

***Vienna talks developing in a slow pace

A look at diplomats’ stance, reports from the Austrian capital, as well as markets’ positive response, to the reports can help observers to find out that negotiations in the eighth round of talks are moving forward at a constructive and relatively progressing pace.

Such steps forward are obvious in Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s Tweet on Thursday, who described the negotiations as natural and good.

Amirabdollahian wrote on his Twitter account: "Talks in Vienna are proceeding in the right direction. Iran’s initiatives brought the talks back on track in a constructive atmosphere. It is now up to the Western side to show good faith and commitment for a good deal."

Developing but slow steps in Vienna talks

The Iranian FM also pointed to three innovative proposals, at least two of the draft texts concerning lifting anti-Iran sanctions and nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic were submitted by the Iranian delegation during the seventh round of talks to the P4+1 group – Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany – and the third document proposed verification of lifting sanctions, compensation for losses, as well as assurances for future commitments.

Unlike the Iranian team’s pioneering proposal, which has its roots in six months of reviewing by the new government in Tehran, the European trio (Britain, France, and Germany) have participated in the Vienna talks empty-handedly. 

However, diplomats from the Western and Eastern sides of the negotiations underlined that the current talks are expected to bear fruit.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, tweeted that all sides involved in Vienna accept that the talks are on track to reach an agreement and lift sanctions.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian asserted on Friday that he sees progress in the Vienna talks.

Progress in negotiations has been a common stance taken by diplomats present in Vienna even American representatives who pursue the talks indirectly in the Austrian capital. Ned Price, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, witnessed modest progress in the Vienna talks.

One of the positive signs of advancement in the talks is the presence of South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun in Vienna to hold talks with American, Iranian and P4+1 diplomats. South Korea should unfreeze Iran’s assets worth more than 7 billion dollars.

***Iran’s legitimate demands

The Islamic Republic as a signatory to the JCPOA, which has abided by its commitments under the deal, insists on its demands for lifting sanctions. Some 17 reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proved that Tehran complied with its undertakings even after one year that former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the international agreement in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. 

There was no doubt that the Raisi administration would propose maximum demands in return for the US’s maximum pressure on the Iranian nation. Iran’s new policy has proven efficient so far.

The Western side tried to create a gap among Iran, Russia, and China, put pressure on Tehran via the IAEA, put forward maximum demands from Iranians, and continue Trump’s failed sanction policy.

***West playing with card of Time

The Western diplomats and officials have tried to play with the card of the time limit in order to pursue their agenda.

Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM TV network on Friday: "I remain convinced we can reach a deal. Bits of progress has been made in the last few days. We have been heading in a positive direction in the last few days, but time is of the essence because if we don't get an accord quickly there will be nothing to negotiate."

The European Union’s representative in the Vienna talks Enrique Mora and the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken also utilized the time card in order to put pressure on Iran.

Mora said in a press conference on Friday that there are only a few weeks to reach a consensus and all sides should be ready to take hard political decisions.

Blinken asserted that the time for reaching a nuclear deal with Iran is running short, accusing Tehran of wasting time in the Vienna talks.

According to observers, resorting to outdated methods to put pressure on Iran will not pave the way for reaching a final agreement; although, erosive talks in Vienna may provide third parties to sabotage the process, it is obvious that hastily decision-making would be harmful to Iranians; therefore, reaching a good agreement, which guarantees to lift sanctions, verifications of commitments and assurances for future moves, will be of great importance.

By Hassan Shokuhinasab
Translation: Abbas Nattaj

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