Iran Focused on Obtaining Guarantees in Nuclear Talks
EghtesadOnline: Iran demands guarantees both regarding the removal of sanctions and the conclusion of IAEA investigations into alleged past nuclear activity, Kanaani said
G aining strong guarantees is among Iran’s key targets in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, without which any agreement could be violated again as in the past, a senior diplomat said.
“If the framework of guarantees is not strong enough, we could witness unfavorable incidents with regard to the deal arise any time, as we did previously,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a regular press briefing on Monday, ISNA reported.
He added that assurances are very important to Iran, both regarding economic benefits and sanctions lifting, and settlement of issues related to Iran’s “transparent, legal and constructive cooperation” with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“One aspect of guarantees concerns sanctions lifting, in a way that Iran enjoys the economic benefits of the JCPOA completely,” he said, using the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the nuclear deal is formally called.
Besides, Iran needs to make sure that the International Atomic Energy Agency keeps away from political games, according to Kanaani.
“Political allegations with regard to Iran’s relations with the agency must not disrupt the implementation of the agreement,” he said.
The 2015 deal offered sanctions relief to Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear activity, but the United States pulled out four years ago and reimposed sweeping sanctions that prompted Tehran to react by scaling down its commitments.
Negotiations have been underway in the Austrian capital Vienna for more than a year to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but a final agreement has been elusive due to a few remaining differences.
To break the impasse, the European Union put forward an initiative last month which has been going back and forth between the two sides.
“Iran has submitted its views to Europe and is waiting to hear the other sides’ response,” Kanaani said.
Tehran made amendments to the EU draft and US views, which according to the diplomat, were aimed at making a potential future deal “more sustainable” and preventing any possible misinterpretation that could disrupt the deal’s implementation in the future.
In terms of concept, Iran’s response followed two basic goals: to remove ambiguities from the suggested clauses and to make the final text more lucid and stronger, he explained.
“Iran’s response was constructive, clear and legal, and can pave the way for the conclusion of talks in short order if there is mutual political will.”
Tehran demands effective lifting of all sanctions and guarantees that no future US government would renege on the deal and reimpose those restrictions again.
“Removal of sanctions and the Iranian nation’s economic benefit is among Iran’s fundamental goals and among the major priorities of the negotiating team,” Kanaani said.
It is also important that IAEA questions about nuclear particles allegedly found at old undeclared Iranian sites be settled, he said.
Kanaani underlined that the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program was recognized in 2015 when the JCPOA was signed and the IAEA inspectors repeatedly confirmed the same in the following years.
Iran argues that the data about uranium traces have been fabricated by Israel who also has a history of targeting Iranian nuclear sites.
“Accusations against Iran by such a regime cannot and must not form the basis of the agency’s judgement and practice,” Kanaani said, stressing that Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA is within the framework of the safeguards only.
The Islamic Republic has been the most cooperative compared with other IAEA member states and expects the agency to adopt professionalism and distance itself from political claims and approaches, he said.
“The closure of the safeguards issue is important to Iran in the process of negotiations to reach a possible agreement [on JCPOA revival].”