Iran Tells UN Security Council It's Ready For More Indirect Talks With U.S. On Nuclear Deal
By RFE/RL June 30, 2022
Iran says it is ready for more indirect talks with the United States to overcome the last hurdles to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran's ambassador to the United Nation told the UN Security Council on June 30 that the Iranian negotiating team was "ready to engage constructively again to conclude and reach agreement."
Majid Takht Ravanchi said the ball was in the U.S. court, and if the United States "acts realistically and shows its serious intention to implement its obligations, the agreement is not out of reach."
Ravanchi's remarks came a day after indirect negotiations between Iran and the the United States ended in Qatar after failing to make significant progress. Ravanchi described the Qatar talks as "serious and positive" and said Tehran would contact the European Union coordinators "for the next stage of talks."
Iran's Foreign Ministry said earlier that it was still possible to overcome differences and reach an agreement to salvage the pact.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted on June 30 that, despite a failure to reach an agreement in two days of talks that ended on June 29, "we are ready to reach a good, robust and lasting deal."
The three European countries that signed the deal urged Tehran to seize an offer that is on the table to revive it.
Britain, Germany, and France told the UN Security Council that negotiations to restore the pact "have resulted in a viable deal being on the table since early March" and they regretted that Iran "has refused to seize this diplomatic opportunity and continued its nuclear escalation."
They called on Iran to "stop and reverse its nuclear escalation, return to full cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency] and seize without further delay the offer on the table, which would benefit the Iranian people and nation."
The Security Council met to discuss the latest report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the implementation of a council resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal.
During the most recent talks in Doha, EU envoys bounced between negotiating teams from Washington and Tehran as they sought a breakthrough that would kickstart broader talks that broke down in March.
Since then, Iran has shut off the surveillance cameras of international inspectors at its nuclear facilities and now has enough high-enriched uranium to potentially make at least one nuclear bomb if it chose to do so.
Each side blamed the other for the lack of progress in Doha, with Washington saying Iran continues to raise issues "wholly unrelated" to the deal, while Tehran says the Washington's insistence on excluding any guarantee for Iran's economic benefits was the main impediment.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week traveled to Tehran in a push to resuscitate negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. EU countries have been forced to find oil suppliers other than Russia as they seek to lower their reliance on Russian energy amid the war in Ukraine.
Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to limits on its controversial nuclear program in exchange for relief from punitive sanctions imposed by the West. But the arrangement began to fall apart in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal.
Washington subsequently reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran, while the Iranian government backed away from some of the commitments laid out in the deal.
Iran has been engaged for more than a year in negotiations in Vienna with Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China directly -- and the United States indirectly -- to revive the deal.
Negotiators were reportedly close to a new agreement in March, but the talks abruptly stalled in April, with Tehran and Washington blaming each other for failing to take the necessary political decisions to settle remaining issues.
One of them is Tehran's insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.
With reporting by Reuters and AP
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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