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Iran Press TV

Iran's deputy FM: EU's new so-called rights sanctions JCPOA-related, meant to undermine JCPOA talks

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 15 April 2021 6:24 PM

Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs says the Iranian delegation took the European countries to task during Thursday talks on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for imposing so-called right-related bans and ignoring a recent terrorist attack on an Iranian nuclear site, saying the new sanctions are meant to undermine talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the deal altogether.

"The Europeans not only ignored this important act of sabotage, but also they were busy imposing new sanctions on Iran and that was totally unacceptable," Abbas Araqchi said an exclusive interview with Press TV correspondent in Vienna on Thursday.

"We told them that even your human rights sanctions that you imposed two days ago, we consider them as JCPOA-related sanctions, because right in the middle of negotiations you decided to impose sanctions and that is certainly [meant] to undermine the current negotiations and to undermine the JCPOA altogether," Araqchi added.

Pointing to the new sanctions, the chief Iranian negotiator said this is a significant non-performance by the European Union.

Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA, including the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany, are in Vienna to discuss the details of efforts to restore the deal after the United States left the accord in 2018, and following almost three years of repeated attacks by the former US administration to destroy the deal.

Iran argues that the US needs to first come back to honoring the JCPOA since it was Washington that initially created the current crisis by its withdrawal and subsequent illegal sanctions on Iran.

The negotiations, first of their kind since US President Joe Biden assumed office, began early this month. They have been described as "constructive" and "businesslike" by the sides, but they have not led to any concrete agreement so far.

During the interview, Araqchi said the participants had "very tough exchanges of views" at the Thursday session of the JCPOA Joint Commission, but they all agreed to move forward.

"Although we still have differences, we share this common interest that we have to move forward, and we have to expedite this process in order to come to a conclusion as soon as possible," he noted.

US needs to present list of sanctions to be lifted

If there is good faith on the US side, Araqchi continued, the way is quite clear.

"They have to lift all sanctions and we need the list of sanctions and this should be our job in this round of discussion," he said, asserting that without a list, "I don't think we can make any progress."

According to Araqchi, Tehran is also prepared to make a similar list on the nuclear measures that it should take.

"With this understanding, the joint commission decided to mandate the two working groups on the nuclear and sanctions-lifting [parts] to re-start the job this afternoon and try to make a concrete, specified list of measures to be taken by Iran and the US," he said.

The deputy foreign minister further underlined the need for the US to prepare a list of sanctions, because without it "nothing will happen."

"I cannot say that I am optimistic, but I think we are on a good track, although we had the negative impacts of last days' developments and we have to somehow manage that," he remarked.

Elsewhere in the interview, Araqchi said the list of sanctions should also include third parties who have been sanctioned because of their cooperation with Iran.

"Before we see the list, we cannot judge whether it is as complete as we want or not," he added.

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