Vienna talks: Iran rules out likelihood of ‘interim deal’

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leaves the Palais Coburg, venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting that aims at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna, Dec 27, 2021. (ALEX HALADA / AFP)

TEHRAN – Iran on Monday ruled out the likelihood of a temporary deal between Iran and remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, in the ongoing Vienna meetings, saying that such a deal will not meet Iran's demands. 

"We should all try to make sure that the return of the United States to the JCPOA is accompanied by necessary guarantees and verification, and that the lifting of sanctions which should have been done under the JCPOA is done effectively," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, adding that none of these can be achieved by an "interim" agreement. 

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We are looking for a stable and reliable agreement, and no agreement that does not have these two components is on our agenda.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, Spokesman, Foreign Ministry 

Making the remarks in his weekly press briefing, he said: "We are looking for a stable and reliable agreement, and no agreement that does not have these two components is on our agenda." 

He emphasized that Vienna talks are only about ensuring a full, responsible and verifiable return of the US to the JCPOA, and Iran will not accept the raise of any issue in the Vienna talks out of the framework of 2015 deal. 

As for the progress of the negotiations in Vienna, he said: "We negotiate neither pessimistically nor optimistically. We negotiate based on reality." 

On Saturday, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said that the disputes over lifting anti-Iran sanctions are decreasing in Vienna talks, according to official IRNA news agency. 

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New rounds of nuclear talks began on Nov 29 in Vienna, after a nearly six months of hiatus, between representatives of Iran and those of the P4+1 group, including Britain, China, France, Russia plus Germany, with the US indirectly involved. 

The talks have mainly focused on removal of US sanctions against Iran and the return of Washington to the deal from which it withdrew in 2018.