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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iran will have no direct, indirect talks with US in Vienna: Official

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 04 April 2021 9:26 AM

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi says Iran and the US will have no direct or indirect talks in Vienna, where the remaining parties to a 2015 nuclear deal will meet Tuesday to discuss the lifting of sanctions on Tehran.

He made the remarks on Sunday, two days after participants at the virtual meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission agreed to resume in-person talks in the Austrian capital.

Araqchi said Iran's negotiations with Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia in Vienna are purely technical about the lifting of sanctions and Iran's remedial measures as well as the sequence of the US lifting of sanctions which should be verified.

"What we are pursuing in Vienna at the Joint Commission is precisely based on the firm positions of the establishment that have repeatedly been stated by Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] and the country's officials," he said.

"We will have no talks, whether direct or indirect, with the Americans in Vienna. We will negotiate with the Joint Commission and the P4 + 1 and pronounce our condition for the [US] return to the JCPOA. Our demand is that the US must first fulfill all its obligations and remove all the sanctions it has imposed, then we will verify and return" to the point before the remedial measures Iran has taken, he added.

The Europeans are trying to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal, which the administration of former US president Donald Trump almost wrecked after abandoning it in May 2018 and imposing the "toughest ever" anti-Iran sanctions.

After the withdrawal, Iran waited for a year for the Europeans to take remedial measures and thwart the unilateral American sanctions as per their obligations under the JCPOA, but to no avail.

That prompted the Islamic Republic to suspend some of its obligations in line with its legal rights stipulated under Article 36 of the JCPOA.

The new US administration, under President Joe Biden, has spoken of a willingness to return to the nuclear agreement, but in practice, it has been sticking to Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign.

Last month, Ayatollah Khamenei said Washington must first remove all the sanctions it has imposed on Tehran in a verifiable manner before Iran reverses its nuclear countermeasures.

Iran has drawn a line in the sand before going to the Vienna talks: it will not accept any step-by-step lifting of the sanctions as suggested by the Americans.

"We do not have any step-by-step plan or proposal and do not accept it," Araqchi reiterated Sunday.

"In our opinion, there is only one step: All the sanctions that were reimposed after Trump's withdrawal or imposed newly under different headings should be identified and the United States must lift them. Then we will verify and return to our commitments."

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