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Iran MPs Threaten to Derail Vienna Talks

Iran MPs Threaten to Derail Vienna Talks

Sunday, 25 April, 2021 - 11:30
Part of the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria (EU Delegation in Vienna)

Iranian hardliners in the parliament have indicated that they will block a possible settlement in negotiations aimed at resuming the 2015 nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The results of the nuclear negotiations in Vienna must be in line with Iranian law, otherwise they will be illegal,” warned MP Alireza Salimi.

Tasnim News Agency reported that a settlement between the two sides would lead Washington to partially lift the sanctions, however it would not be legal unless approved by parliament.

A nuclear law passed by the Iranian parliament last year calls for the lifting of all sanctions as a condition for Iran to comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Qatar and Iraq Sunday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement that the tour comes within the framework of developing bilateral relations and addressing regional and international talks.

During his visit, Zarif will meet a number of prominent officials in the two countries, according to Khatibzadeh.

Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, and Russia have been meeting in a Vienna hotel to discuss a return to the deal, while US envoys are participating indirectly in the talks from a nearby hotel.

Meanwhile, Time of Israel quoted Brett McGurk of the US National Security Council as saying that no sanctions would be removed before Washington gets clear commitments on Iran’s return to the 2015 accord.

“Until we get somewhere and until we have a firm commitment, and it’s very clear that Iran’s nuclear program is going to be capped, the problematic aspects reversed and back in a box, we are not going to take any of the pressure off,” said McGurk.

He said that with talks resuming in Vienna on Monday, “there’s a very long way to go and this process is complicated.”

McGurk stressed that the US is “not going to pay anything upfront just to get a process going. We have to see from the Iranians a fundamental commitment and agreement to put their nuclear program back in a box that we can fully inspect and observe.”

Iran has pressed for the US to lift all sanctions imposed under former President Donald Trump before it rolls back the steps Tehran took away from the 2015 deal in protest.

The Biden administration had repeatedly said that it would only return to the nuclear deal if Iran first returned to compliance.

However, on Tuesday, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that Washington would only need to be sure that Iran intended to return to compliance.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that 60-70 percent of issues had been resolved in Vienna.

Israel is worried that Washington is rushing too quickly to return to the 2015 accord and is ignoring the concerns of Israel and other Middle Eastern countries.

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will travel to the US on Sunday to discuss the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and its entrenchment throughout the region.

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