EghtesadOnline: The administration of President Hassan Rouhani feels committed to continue the nuclear talks to get American sanctions removed, but will not make haste to conclude the negotiations before the end of its term by giving up the country’s rights, a senior official said.
“If our demands are not met, the next government will carry on with the negotiations,” Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
Rouhani is set to hand over the government in August to Ebrahim Raeisi who was elected as president in the June 18 polls.
His administration has been involved in indirect talks with the United States in Vienna, Austria, to see if they can agree to return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The agreement, a major diplomatic achievement of Rouhani’s government, went out of shape when the US pulled out in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, which later responded by scaling down its commitments.
Six rounds of talks have been held so far with significant progress, but disagreements over key issues have kept the negotiations on hold.
Rabiei said the talks have reached a point where all sides must make decisions.
“We have made and declared our decisions and are waiting for the other sides, including the US, to announce their political decisions so that we can talk more specifically in the next round of negotiations,” he said.
He added that whatever needed to be discussed has been put forward at the negotiating table in Vienna.
“Our position is clear to all sides and we stand firm in this position.”
All-Inclusive Agreement Needed
There is agreement on sanctions lifting in major economic sectors such as energy, finance, banking, insurance, etc. according to Rabiei, but no deal can be practically reached unless there is agreement over all issues on the agenda.
He added that any deal would necessarily include the removal of cruel economic sanctions on Iran, stressing that the government would not dawdle for a single moment if that becomes feasible.
“If what we desire is not fulfilled by the end of this administration’s term, the [next] government will take over the talks,” he said.
Western analysts and diplomats have voiced doubt about the possibility of reaching a deal with conservative Raeisi, saying it would be easier to conclude an agreement with the moderate administration of Rouhani.
“If we don’t have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it’s going to be,” a US official had said before Iran’s elections.
Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araqchi said, however, that Tehran’s nuclear stance would not change under the president-elect, although he hoped the talks could conclude during the remaining days of the outgoing administration.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had also earlier said the remaining issues were not insurmountable and a result could be achieved before August.
“An agreement is highly likely to be reached before the end of the incumbent administration’s term,” he had said.