Iran, Russia, China censure US over impasse after Doha talks
Iran has censured the United States for refusing to abandon its wrong path after two-day negotiations in the Qatari capital to discuss how to remove sanctions on the Islamic Republic ended Wednesday.
Diplomats spoke at the UN Security Council Thursday, wringing their hands at perceived lack of progress after Iran and the European side said they will keep in touch "about the continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks".
Iran's UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi, however, told the council that the latest talks were positive and the Islamic Republic is ready to strike an agreement, but everything depends on the US to make a decision.
"Iran has demanded verifiable and objective guarantees from the US that JCPOA will not be torpedoed again, that the US will not violate its obligations again, and that sanctions will not be re-imposed under other pretexts or designations," he told the council.
"We were sincere in the Doha talks that were serious and positive," he said. "Our negotiating team is ready to engage constructively again to conclude and reach a deal."
Chinese and Russian diplomats also faulted the United States, with Beijing's representative urging Washington to remove unilateral US sanctions on Iran.
"It is indeed the (Trump) policy of maximum pressure on Iran, which the US administration continues to embrace, that this is the main cause of all of the current problems plaguing the JCPOA," Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said.
China said the US must respond to Iran’s legitimate concerns and redress it past mistakes.
"We hope relevant parties will step up diplomatic efforts, find common ground on the outstanding issues at an early date and remove the obstacles to resuming full compliance," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing on Thursday.
"As the one who created the Iranian nuclear issue, the US needs to redress its mistakes, actively respond to the legitimate concerns of the Iranian side and work to achieve outcomes from negotiations on resuming compliance with the JCPOA at an early date," he added.
The talks in Doha followed several rounds of negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna since April last year. They had stalled since March, chiefly over Washington’s insistence to maintain some key elements of the sanctions intact.
“The US is responsible for the current hiatus in Iran’s nuclear case, must fulfill its obligations to return to the nuclear agreement, respond to Iran's legitimate concerns and take measures to resume negotiations as early as possible to help things move forward,” Zhao said.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council met to discuss the latest report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the implementation of the 2015 council resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal.
Iran has demanded that the US should provide guarantees a future administration would not withdraw from a restored deal again, something the Biden administration has not been able to do.
'Iran serious about lasting agreement'
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday that Tehran is serious about reaching a good, strong and lasting agreement, and that an accord is achievable if the United States is realistic.
Amir-Abdollahian described the talks in Qatar as “positive” and said a deal could still be reached.
“We are determined to continue negotiating until a realistic agreement is reached,” he said after a phone call with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who hosted the indirect talks.
“Our assessment of the recent round of talks in Doha is positive,” he said.
“I insist on the fact that we are making serious efforts to reach a good, solid and lasting agreement,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
“An accord is achievable if the United States is realistic,” the top Iranian diplomat pointed out.