Iran says nuclear deal ‘within reach’ but sanctions really must be lifted – Reuters


Iranian President Tells Irish Minister Iranian People’s Rights Must Be Respected in Vienna Negotiations



Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (right) and his Irish counterpart Simon Coveney before their meeting in Tehran. —AP

By AFP

Published: Mon 14 Feb 2022, 20:35

Iran said on Monday that a deal to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal was “within reach”, but insisted that sanctions should be “truly lifted” as part of ongoing talks in Vienna.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said during a meeting with Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney that “the rights of the Iranian people must be respected” in the ongoing negotiations.

Raisi also hailed Ireland’s ‘independence from the United States and some European countries’, adding that the two countries have ‘vast capabilities’ to strengthen ties, according to the news agency. of State IRNA.

Iran is engaged in negotiations with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia directly and with the United States indirectly to revive the agreement officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA ).

Also on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said he believed a deal was “within reach” soon, provided the US and European sides “are serious” about returning to full compliance. of the agreement.

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Speaking at a joint press conference with Coveney, the senior Iranian diplomat said: “We are serious and ready to reach a good deal.”

The deal offered sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

But the United States unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reimposed harsh economic sanctions, prompting Tehran to begin backtracking on its commitments.

Irish Foreign Minister Coveney said on Monday he believed the Western parties to the deal were “serious and committed”.

“I believe the other parties to the JCPOA, especially Western countries, are deeply committed to making this work,” Coveney told reporters, alongside his Iranian counterpart.

Ireland acted as a facilitator for UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was agreed in 2015 to endorse the JCPOA.

“As a facilitator, Ireland aims to contribute to this process in any way we can, helping all parties move this discussion forward,” Coveney said.

“The full restoration of the JCPOA would ensure rapid and substantial sanctions relief for Iran,” he added.

The talks in Vienna aim to bring the United States back to the deal, including lifting sanctions on Iran, and to ensure Tehran’s full compliance with its commitments under the pact.

“Our goal is the total removal of all JCPOA sanctions,” Amir-Abdollahian said, adding that “it is better for the Islamic Republic to reach an agreement today rather than tomorrow.”

The Iranian foreign chief’s remarks followed comments by his ministry’s spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, who earlier Monday said the talks were complicated but added that “there is no stalemate in Vienna”.

“The negotiations are complicated and difficult because they have reached key issues that require serious political decisions, especially from Washington,” Khatibzadeh told a news conference.

“We need objective guarantees to ensure that the United States does not leave the agreement once again and that it honors its commitments,” Khatibzadeh said.

“All JCPOA sanctions with tags must be lifted at the same time,” he added.

The campaign to save the 2015 nuclear deal resumed in late November after a hiatus following Raisi’s election in June.

Different parties to the deal have reported progress in the talks in recent weeks, with some saying negotiations are in their final stages.

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