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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Iran says waiting for US response before returning to Vienna

Iran Press TV

Monday, 14 March 2022 10:57 AM

Iran says it is waiting for a response from the US before going back to the Austrian capital for the conclusion of Vienna talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal and removal of sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibnejad blamed the United States for the hiatus, saying Washington needs to take a political decision before Iranian delegates finally return to Vienna.

"We are not at the point, where one can declare an agreement has been struck. There are still some key and outstanding issues that need to be decided in Washington. As soon as the decisions are taken, we will go back to Vienna and reach a final agreement. We are now waiting for a response from the US side. Consultations are underway at various levels," he told reporters in Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian will leave for Moscow Tuesday to discuss a range of issues with Russian officials, Khatibzadeh said.

He said Amir-Abdollahian and his counterparts from the remaining parties to the Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are constantly in contact with each other.

The diplomat reiterated that the inalienable and definite rights of the Iranian nation would determine the framework of the Vienna negotiations and the final agreement coming out of them.

Khatibzadeh also dismissed Western accounts concerning Russian demands, stating that the Vienna talks are meant to ensure US return to the JCOPA in a credible and verifiable manner.

He went on to say that the administration of US President Joe Biden has opted to complicate the talks.

The United States left the JCPOA in 2018 and began to implement what it called the "maximum pressure" campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, depriving the country of the economic benefits of the agreement, including the removal of sanctions, for which Iran had agreed to put certain caps on its nuclear activities.

In the meantime, the other parties to the deal, in particular France, Britain and Germany, only paid lip service to safeguarding Iran's economic dividends as promised under the JCPOA, prompting Iran - after an entire year of "strategic patience" - to reduce its nuclear obligations in a legal move under the deal.

The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA- Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China- on the assumption that the US, under the Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy pursued by former president, Donald Trump, against Tehran.

Elsewhere in his remarks on Monday, Khatibzadeh pointed to a retaliatory missile strike by Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on the "strategic center of Zionist conspiracy and evil" in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan city of Erbil.

He said Tehran has repeatedly called on the Baghdad government not to allow anti-Iran and terrorist groups to use Iraqi soil for their activities.

"The United States has conducted military operations against Iran from inside Iraq, and the occupying Zionist has sabotage bases there. What we have announced to the Iraqi government is that the key to friendship is respect for mutual interests and sovereignty. Our warnings were, however, ignored and one of the centers of conspiracy and sabotage was responsibly struck," Khatibzadeh said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the IRGC indicated that the missile operation was in response to an Israeli airstrike on the Syrian capital of Damascus last Monday, in which two IRGC officers were killed.

A dozen ballistic missiles hit secret Mossad bases in Erbil, reportedly leaving several Israeli operatives dead.

Citing security sources, Iraq's Sabereen News reported that two Mossad training centers were targeted by ballistic missiles in the early hours of Sunday.

Al-Mayadeen television news network said a Mossad base on the Masif-Saladin Street in Erbil was "fully razed to the ground and a number of Israeli mercenaries were killed or injured".

Last week, IRGC identified the two slain officers as colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saeidnejad, warning that Israel would "pay for this crime".

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