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Iranian MPs Ask for Stronger Guarantees in Vienna Talks

Iranian MPs Ask for Stronger Guarantees in Vienna Talks

Wednesday, 6 April, 2022 - 10:00
A screengrab from a video shows Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. (AFP)

In a letter to their ally, hardline conservative President Ibrahim Raisi, a majority of Iranian parliamentarians demanded “stronger guarantees” from the US and “maintaining the red lines” in reviving the nuclear agreement.

The MPs' demands came at a time when Tehran and Washington are exchanging blame for postponing negotiations.

More than 190 parliamentarians have signed the letter, urging Raisi to ensure that the parties involved in the Vienna talks give Iran stronger guarantees.

Conservative legislator Mohammad Saleh Jokar told Fars News Agency that the “deputies signed statements stressing the observance of the framework set by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the negotiating team in the Vienna negotiations with the 4+1 group.”

He added that the letter to Raisi “emphasizes that negotiations must take into account the lifting of all sanctions, including the free sale of Iranian oil.”

The government's Mehr News Agency reported that the representative of the city of Abadan, MP Mojtaba Mahfuzi, issued a verbal warning to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team at the beginning of Tuesday’s parliamentary session, saying that “the nuclear negotiating team must not retreat from the country's rights and red lines.”

Hardline MP Nasrollah Pejmanfar, who represents the city of Mashhad, said: “It is necessary to lift oil sanctions, allowing us to sell oil freely to any country we want after reaching an agreement.”

The Iranian official news agencies did not address the issue of the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard in the statements quoted by the parliament deputies.

Negotiations have been taking place in Vienna for months between Iran on the one hand, and China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany on the other hand, to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement, whose effects evaporated after the US withdrew in 2018.

In other news, the US and Iran exchanged blame on Monday for a weeks-long impasse that has held up a return to the 2015 deal that sought to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

“We will not be going to Vienna for new negotiations but to finalize the nuclear agreement,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

“If Washington answers the outstanding questions, we can go to Vienna as soon as possible,” he added.

“At the moment, we do not yet have a definitive answer from Washington,” he said.

But in Washington, Khatibzadeh’s State Department counterpart Ned Price pushed back, suggesting it was Tehran that was not giving way to make a deal possible.

“Anyone involved in the talks knows precisely who has made constructive proposals, who has introduced demands that are unrelated to the JCPOA, and how we reached this current moment,” Price said.

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