EghtesadOnline: A senior diplomat denied claims by the three European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal that the Vienna talks were adjourned at Tehran’s request, saying it was a decision made by all the participating delegations.
“Despite the western side’s claim about Iran’s request for a pause in the talks, these countries and other members of the P4+1 [the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] know very well that this time schedule is [the result of] a collective consensus which was reached in view of the European parties’ Christmas and New Year holidays,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday, ISNA reported.
He said it was not the first time that the western parties have resorted to distorting realities and spreading disinformation.
Khatibzadeh said the three European parties to the JCPOA may have sought to make up for their previous demand for an early return to their capitals by making such an “unrealistic” claim.
The spokesman urged the European powers to show seriousness and determination to contribute to the progress of the talks, instead of insisting on their “threadbare and useless blame game.”
Khatibzadeh’s remarks came after senior European diplomats on Friday claimed that they were disappointed by Iran’s decision to request a pause in the Vienna talks amid what they described as “technical progress”.
Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA, namely Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China, resumed talks in Vienna on November 29 after a five-month hiatus, marking the first round of negotiations under President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration and the seventh overall.
During the seventh round of the Vienna talks, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US sanctions and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.
Iran and the P4+1 group of countries resumed the talks in the Austrian capital on December 9 after being paused on December 3, when the participants returned to their capitals for additional consultations on the two draft proposals that Tehran had put forward.
As the seventh round of discussions in Vienna concluded on Friday, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Baqeri said the three European parties to the JCPOA privately agreed to accept Tehran’s viewpoint as a basis for “serious, result-oriented” talks.
He added that the pace of reaching an agreement depends on the will of the opposite side, adding, “If the other side accepts the rational views and positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the next round of talks can be the last one and we can achieve a deal in the shortest possible time.”
He criticized the E3 for failing to present a specific constructive initiative during the talks, saying, “They previously announced that they have proposals and initiatives on some topics, including the issue of guarantees, but we received no proposal or initiative from them during this round of talks.”