Tehran has not “boycotted” its return to nuclear talks in Vienna, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission has said, stating that Western states must first fulfil their obligations.
Speaking in an interview with an Iranian news agency on Monday, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini said that the “ball is in the court of Western countries,” in regards to restarting the stalled discussions on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He said countries that have withdrawn from the landmark nuclear accord and failed to deliver their side of the deal should first make sure they fulfil their obligations. His comment took aim at the US, which withdrew unilaterally in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, as well as Germany, France and the UK, who he claims did not comply with their JCPOA commitments.
The spokesman also said that lifting sanctions imposed by the US and European Union against the Islamic republic is a prerequisite to resuming nuclear talks, as well as those two parties implementing their commitments.
Meshkini’s remarks come after the EU’s political director, Enrique Mora, the chief coordinator of the negotiations, met with his Iranian counterparts in Tehran last Thursday, four months after talks cut off between the state and world powers.
Iran’s foreign ministry said it would hold discussions in the coming days with the bloc in Brussels after Mora’s visit. Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent envoy at the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear watchdog in Vienna, said that such talks can be seen as a “preparatory step towards resumption of real negotiations”, noting that they cannot “substitute Vienna talks on JCPOA”, however.
The atomic accord, which required Tehran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, was signed between Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the EU, the UK and the US in 2015.
After Trump withdrew Washington from the landmark deal, the White House imposed a new set of embargoes on Tehran, which began resuming the enrichment of uranium beyond levels permitted under the JCPOA.
President Joe Biden’s administration has shown a keen interest in reviving the agreement and has been engaging in indirect talks with Iran in Vienna, but has so far been reluctant to heed demands that it lift sanctions first for discussions to proceed.
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