Jul 06, 2022 07:57 UTC
  • US cannot have it both ways at JCPOA revival talks: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Washington’s unilateral demands at the high-profile negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran deal are in contradiction with its claims that it sincerely seeks an agreement.

According to Press TV, Amir-Abdollahian wrote in a tweet on Tuesday night that Iran remains ready to negotiate a strong and durable agreement, and it is now up to the US to make a political decision on whether it is willing to honor the officially-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He made the comments after a phone conversation with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell. He further said that an agreement is possible “only based on mutual understanding and interests.”

Iran and the US attended indirect talks in Doha last week, days after Borrell visited Tehran seeking to break an impasse in the multilateral talks, which had resulted in a months-long pause.

The talks initially began in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in April 2021 with the aim of bringing the US back into the JCPOA and removing its unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has blamed Washington for indecisiveness and a lack of initiative on numerous occasions, the latest of which has been in the aftermath of the Doha talks.

“We believe that repeating previous stances should not replace political initiatives,” Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday, in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna.

US needs to take ‘a more forthcoming position’: Russia

Meanwhile, Russia’s lead negotiator at the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, reacted to Amir-Abdollahian’s latest tweet, urging the US to take a “more forthcoming position” at the talks.

“It is high time for the US to take a more forthcoming position in the course of the #ViennaTalks if #Washington is really committed to the restoration of the #JCPOA,” he said via his Twitter account.

EU chief: Decisions are needed now

Borrell also referred to his phone conversation with Amir-Abdollahian, stressing that “decisions are needed now” if the sides want to conclude an agreement.

“This is still possible, but the political space to revive the #JCPOA may narrow soon,” he tweeted.

Doha talks were ‘a wasted occasion’: US

US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said the latest indirect negotiations with Iran were “more than a little bit of a wasted occasion.”

“The party that has not said yes is Iran,” Malley claimed in an interview with NPR published on Tuesday. “The party that needs to provide an answer now is Iran. And so if they were not prepared to do so, it’s unclear why they were prepared to go to Doha.”

He also criticized the administration of former US President Donald Trump for “recklessly [deciding] to withdraw from a deal that was working.”

Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, as he declared a new, more confrontational policy toward Iran, which he called the “maximum pressure” policy.

Iranian negotiators, throughout the course of the talks, have underscored the need to undo that policy and remove all the sanctions imposed on their country, arguing that they are in blatant violation of the JCPOA.