European Union foreign polict chief Josep Borrell (L) visitng Iran on June 25, 2022

European Union foreign polict chief Josep Borrell (L) visitng Iran on June 25, 2022

Khamenei-Linked Newspaper Calls Iran's Nuclear Talks Futile

Thursday, 08/11/2022

The editor of the flagship hardliner newspaper Kayhan in Tehran wrote on Wednesday that the Vienna nuclear talks have had no result that would benefit Iran.

Hossein Shariatmadari, who often speaks for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, claimed in the commentary that the United States and its allies, as well as Iran’s “pro-Western reformists” tried hard to force the Islamic Republic into an agreement but the Tehran’s negotiators "powerfully resisted" the pressures.

He added: "Unlike what the officials and the media claim in the West, and Iranian reformists echo, no results that would serve Iran's economic interests were obtained in the negotiations."

Iran’s reform camp that has lost political power constantly reminds the hardliners that removing sanctions is important for alleviating the serious economic crisis Iran faces. Many academics and experts also urge the government to reach a deal with the West to lift the crippling sanctions.

Shariatmadari further said that Western media and officials refuse to say that the United States has not responded to Iran's "lawful and logical demands," instead, they keep saying that a draft acceptable by both parties has been prepared and it is now Iran's turn to take the final step and finalize the nuclear agreement.

After 16 months of multilateral talks, the European Union this week presented what it called a “final draft” to all sides to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA. The US has said it is ready to accept it but Iran apparently wants more haggling.

Shariatmadari charged that while the US refuses to guarantee that it would remain faithful to its obligations under the JCPOA, it wishes to portray Iran as the party that prevents the lifting of the sanctions. Meanwhile, he praised the Iranian negotiators for their resistance against those who wanted to blackmail them, and blamed former President Hassan Rouhani for the 2018 US withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Shariatmadari claimed that the Vienna negotiations have remained futile in the four areas of safeguards, lifting of sanctions, guaranteeing that the United States will not leave the agreement, and the step-by-step implementation of the agreement. Meanwhile, he criticized Iran's reformists for insisting that Iranian negotiators should have agreed to the United States' terms.

He said Iran's chief negotiator Ali Bagheri-Kani has told the Americans that an agreement without a guarantee will not be acceptable to Iran as some former US officials have said that the next government of the United States will certainly do away with this agreement.

In a related development, a petrochemicals executive, Hamid Hosseini has warned that failure to reach an agreement might lead to public dissatisfaction and a new wave of migration from Iran. Hosseini, who is also the deputy chief of the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, said, the talks have to be fruitful as this is the only way for Iran to improve its economy. He further warned that if the talks in Vienna remain futile, the UN sanctions against Iran may return to exert further pressure on Tehran to come to terms with the international community.

Meanwhile, an ultraconservative political activist, former lawmaker Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told reporters in Tehran as long as all of the sanctions are not lifted, reaching an agreement will not solve Iran's problems. "America will always use the remaining sanctions to prevent Iran from benefitting from any possible agreement," he said. Naqavi further added that "it is highly unlikely that Iran would accept Europe's proposal as there is no benefit in it."

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