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Iran Says Nuclear Talks ‘Hostage’ to US Domestic Politics

Iran Says Nuclear Talks ‘Hostage’ to US Domestic Politics

Tuesday, 5 April, 2022 - 08:45
An Austrian police car parks in front of the nuclear negotiations headquarters in central Vienna on February 8, 2021 (AFP).

Tehran accused Washington of holding the Vienna talks “hostage” to its internal affairs and partisan “swaps.” It held the White House responsible for “prolonging” the negotiation process, demanding a response to the proposals the European coordinator recently brought from Tehran to Washington.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Monday urged the United States to be “realistic” to help reach an agreement in Vienna talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian diplomat said in a tweet that “the excessive demands” of the United States could lead to a pause in the Vienna negotiation as Iran will "never give in" to such demands.

Amir-Abdollahian also pointed out that “an agreement can be reached if the United States is realistic.”

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the United States should be responsible for protraction in Vienna talks.

“America is responsible for the halt of these talks ... a deal is very much within reach,” Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference.

“Washington should make a political decision for the deal's revival,” he said, adding that Tehran would “not wait forever.”

Khatibzadeh reiterated that a deal to restore the 2015 nuclear deal is within reach “if America realizes and knows for sure that we will not cross our red lines and demand,” he told reporters.

“What happens in Vienna [talks] stems from the US approach which is trying to take the [solution of the] remaining issues hostage to its own domestic issues. Iran and Iranians can't remain patient forever,” Khatibzadeh said, referring to strong opposition in the US Congress from Republicans and some Democrats.

Iran has said that there are still outstanding issues, including Washington removing a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) designation against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Khatibzadeh’s remark about US “domestic issues” might be a reference to strong Congressional opposition to delisting the IRGC. Almost all Senate Republicans and many of their colleagues in the House of Representatives, as well as some Democrats oppose any concession on the issue.

Commenting on the European Union envoy in Vienna talks, Enrique Mora's, recent visit to Tehran the spokesman said Mora had received Iran's message and response to US demands. “We are still waiting for a response from the other party.”

Mora met with Amir-Abdollahian and top negotiator Ali Bagheri-Kani on March 27 to discuss the unresolved issues in the talks.

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