Iran has called on the three western European states to enter resumed Vienna nuclear talks with a focus on reaching agreement as quickly as possible.
In his weekly reporters’ briefing Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran could not tolerate participants in Vienna wasting time by making demands beyond the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
Khatibzadeh also dismissed recent warnings by the United States and its European allies that time was running out to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA. He said Tehran will not be moved by “manufactured deadlines”.
Khatibzadeh said talks should focus on the new draft of two documents discussed during the latest round of talks, one on the nuclear issues and one on the verifiable removal of sanctions.
The spokesman called on participants to “appreciate this window of opportunity” and agree during the current round of talks on how to revive the JCPOA, which the United States left in 2018.
The talks are formally between remaining JCPOA members – China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United Kingdom – with the US taking part indirectly. Formally, the three western European states, known as the ‘E3,’ have called on the US to withdraw sanctions incompatible with the JCPOA and on Iran to return its nuclear program, expanded since 2019, to JCPOA limits.
Khatibzadeh said Iran was exchanging texts with the US delegation through Enrique Mora, the senior European Union official coordinating the Vienna process. This was important, the spokesman said, to establish procedures lifting US sanctions imposed since 2018, and precluding the US once again leaving the JCPOA once it rejoined.
Khatibzadeh echoed remarks by other Iranian officials that Iran needed guarantees from Washington that it would receive the benefits of the agreement.
Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the current round of talks would discuss a new document "mutually acceptable" to all sides. “One of the crucial matters in these negotiations is the issue of guarantees and verification,” he said.
It was unclear what document Amir-Abdollahian was referring to: Iran submitted written proposals at the beginning of December, and reportedly various understandings were reached and drafts discussed when talks were suspended in June pending Iran’s presidential election.
Khatibzadeh made his remarks as Iran’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani met representatives of Russia and China in Vienna ahead of the official start of this round of talks.