June 3, 2023

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Will the U.S. seize Vienna talks last opportunity?

Will the U.S. seize Vienna talks last opportunity? – Tehran Times

TEHRAN – Following a “last bullet” visit by the European coordinator for the Vienna talks to Iran, a new opportunity was provided for the U.S. to make up its mind.

After about two months of uncertainty over the fate of the talks in Vienna over reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the visit by the European Union’s coordinator for the Vienna talk, Enrique Mora, to Tehran created new hopes for a breakthrough in the stalled talks. 

The first breakthrough was reportedly getting Iran’s approval for a new round of talks. In Tehran, Mora held intensive talks with Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani. Following Mora’s meetings, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who had dispatched Mora to Tehran in what he called a “last bullet” effort to salvage the JCPOA said Mora’s visit resulted in positive results.

Mora’s visit to Tehran had “gone better than expected,” Borrell said, adding that the stalled talks had been “reopened.”

Borrell didn’t elaborate further on these results but the Western media said during Mora’s visit Iran agreed to restart talks over issues that are less thorny than the designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) that took a center stage in the last round of talks. 

In the previous rounds, Iran demanded that the U.S. remove the IRGC from its terrorism list. The U.S. rejected the demand which led to the talks hitting a dead end. During the Mora visit, Iran didn’t back down but indicated it was willing to restart talks over non-IRGC subjects, Politico reported, citing Western officials.

Iran also expressed willingness to resume the talks but it made it clear who should make the tough decisions. Bagher Kani said Tehran is ready for resuming negotiation to remove sanctions, and at the same time is aware of the other side’s plans.

Earlier on Saturday, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said it was up to the U.S. to break the deadlock over the talks by accepting Iranian demands. 

“Negotiations reached a point that obstacles can only be untied by accepting Iran’s rational & principled obligations. #US by negligence, & #EU by inaction, destroyed the opportunity to benefit from Iran’s goodwill. If they have the will, we are ready & an agreement is available,” he said on Twitter. 

The tweet came after Mora left Tehran for Brussels. Shamkhani’s remarks indicated that the possible resumption of the talks will by no means guarantees the conclusion of the talks unless the U.S. makes political decisions.

Iranian officials have long said that Tehran has made all the necessary decisions to push the talks forward and that it’s now up to the U.S. to make its own decisions. Furthermore, Iran even proposed some initiatives to advance the nuclear talks when the European Union’s nuclear talks coordinator visited Tehran last week, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Speaking at a weekly presser on Monday, the spokesman said, “When Mr. Mora came to Tehran, very serious and result-oriented negotiations were held with ‘special initiatives’ by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He had several long conversations with Mr. Bagheri.”

Khatibzadeh said the Iranian initiatives have been relayed to Washington but the Biden administration provided no answers. “If they respond appropriately, we can be in a position where all parties can return to Vienna,” he said, asserting that if the United States announces its “political decision”, which Iran has not yet received, all parties can take an important step forward in the negotiations.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/472714/Will-the-U-S-seize-Vienna-talks-last-opportunity

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