Araqchi: Tehran not seeking protracted negotiations, rejects talks for sake of talks
Iranian chief nuclear negotiator says Tehran does not seek protracted negotiations on the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, warning that the country would take action if the talks are not constructive.
“We are not after talks of attrition and the negotiations that are only time-consuming and aimed at [holding] talks for the sake of talks,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Thursday.
Araqchi made the remarks before the start of a meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, which will be attended by all the parties to the deal– excluding the US which left the deal in 2018 – in Vienna.
A day earlier, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had warned against protracted talks as well, stressing that Iran will only return to its commitments under the nuclear deal once it has verified that all US sanctions have been removed.
“The meeting of the Joint Commission will resume today. We will start work again in a more formal way, and we hope that the working groups will be able to meet as soon as possible to go through the process,” Araqchi said.
The top negotiator said if the negotiations proceed in a constructive way, Iran will continue the talks, otherwise necessary action will be taken.
At the beginning of the session, Araqchi condemned the Sunday act of nuclear terrorism against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility and voiced Tehran’s strong protest against the European countries’ weak reaction to the incident.
Members of the JCPOA, he said, must in unison and without political considerations denounce this act, which is an example of nuclear terrorism and a gross violation of international law.
He explained that Iran’s move to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity was made under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA and with the aim of meeting some of the country’s needs in the field of medicine.
Headed by Araqchi, the Iranian delegation includes representatives from the Oil Ministry, the Central Bank and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).