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Tehran Insists on Continuing Nuclear Talks amid Western Pessimism

Tehran Insists on Continuing Nuclear Talks amid Western Pessimism

Saturday, 2 July, 2022 - 07:45
Staffer removes the Iranian flag from the stage after a group picture with foreign ministers and representatives of the United States, Iran, other nations and the European Union on July 14, 2015. (AFP / Pool / CARLOS BARRIAA)

Iranian officials insisted on maintaining indirect negotiations with Washington, amid pessimism among Westrn diplomats about reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement, after the failure of the latest round hosted by Doha.

“Following Doha talks, we will coordinate with the EU on the next stage of talks,” Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Twitter.

“Our team is ready to engage constructively to reach a deal. If the US acts realistically and shows serious intention to implement its obligations, agreement is not out of reach,” he added.

The Iranian ambassador was referring to his comments during a Security Council session on Thursday evening to discuss the latest report issued by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the implementation of the 2015 Security Council resolution on nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

American, British and French diplomats at the Security Council blamed Iran for the failure of efforts to revive the agreement after more than a year of negotiations.

In parallel, new details were leaked from the indirect talks that took place between the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, and the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, mediated by European Union Envoy Enrique Mora, in Doha.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official told Reuters that differences widened after the unsuccessful talks this week. He said the prospects for reaching an agreement after Doha were worse than before, and would worsen day by day.

“Their vague demands, reopening of settled issues, and requests clearly unrelated to the JCPOA all suggests to us… that the real discussion that has to take place is [not] between Iran and the US to resolve remaining differences. It is between Iran and Iran to resolve the fundamental question about whether they are interested in a mutual return to the JCPOA,” the senior American official said.

He added: “At this point, we are not sure if they [the Iranians] know what more they want. They didn’t come to Doha with many specifics. Most of what they raised they either knew – or should have known – was outside the scope of the JCPOA and thus completely unsellable to us and to the Europeans, or were issues that had been thoroughly debated and resolved in Vienna and that we were clearly not going to reopen.”

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