West in Hurry to Conclude JCPOA Deal Amid Ukraine Crisis, Iranian Negotiator Says
TEHRAN (Sputnik) - The United States and European countries are in need of a new Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran as they are under great pressure due to crisis they created in Ukraine, Iranian nuclear negotiator Mohammad Marandi said.
"Americans and Europeans are under a lot of pressure due to the wars they have had and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as due to the crisis in Ukraine, which they themselves created, so the Americans need an agreement," Marandi said.
The negotiator added that Western countries want to conclude an agreement, but in order to do this they will have to accept reasonable conditions and requirements of Iran.
Marandi noted that the US has changed its position on talks with Iran to renew the JCPOA. The recent negotiations in Doha included the issues of providing guarantees to Iran from the American side to fulfill its obligations under the new agreement and lifting of US sanctions against Tehran.
US President Joe Biden will travel to the Middle East from July 13-16, according to a senior US administration official. Marandi specified that Biden's visit to a number of Middle Eastern countries is not related to Iran's negotiation on the resumption of the JCPOA in Qatar.
"These Iranian negotiations have their own framework, and, naturally, Iran is looking for specific guarantees and wants to achieve the lifting of sanctions in order to fulfill the JCPOA," the Iranian official said.
Marandi also noted that the importance of Biden's tour in connection with the JCPOA talks is not as great as some media outlets read into it.
JCPOA was signed in 2015 by the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Germany, the US, France, the European Union, and Iran, imposing restrictions on the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions. In 2018, then US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from JCPOA and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Iranian authorities responded with a gradual retreat from JCPOA obligations, abandoning restrictions on nuclear research, centrifuges and the level of uranium enrichment.
In December 2021, the sides agreed on two drafts of the deal, which took into account Iranian interests. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani called the talks successful, while US spokesman Ned Price expressed some skepticism, urging Tehran to take the issue seriously. The talks were paused at the end of March as parties returned to their countries. The latest round of JCPOA negotiations took place in Qatar's capital Doha on June 29-30.
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