Iran's approach at nuclear talks not to resolve remaining issues — Psaki

December 04, 2021
"The new Iranian administration did not come to Vienna with constructive proposals," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing.

WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday that Iran's approach this week at the seventh round of nuclear talks in Vienna "was not" to resolve the remaining issues.

"The new Iranian administration did not come to Vienna with constructive proposals," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing.

"Iran's approach this week was not, unfortunately, to try to resolve the remaining issues," she said, adding, "Even more importantly, Iran started this new round of negotiations with a new round of nuclear provocations."

Psaki affirmed that President Joe Biden is "committed to returning the United States to compliance with the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and staying in compliance so long as Iran does the same, he means it."

“If Iran is equally committed, a solution is at hand, but we did not see that from them this week," she remarked, reiterating, "We are always hopeful for a diplomatic approach. That's always the best option."

Representatives of the state parties to the JCPOA on Iran's nuclear program decided Friday to postpone their talks and return to their respective countries for consultation.

The seventh round of talks between Iran, on one hand, and the P4+1, on the other, started on Monday in an effort to revive the 2015 deal.

The first formal talks, which were put off on Friday, saw Europe warning that Iran had walked back all previous diplomatic progress and fast-forwarded its nuclear program.

It now seems possible the talks will collapse next week if Iran does not modify its demands, potentially risking an attack on Iran by Israel.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Enrique Mora, said the talks would reconvene next week, but warned that time was not unlimited. Diplomats representing the three European powers at the talks — Britain, France and Germany — said they were disappointed and concerned by the impasse.

They said the purpose of the suspension was to “allow delegations to return to capitals to assess the situation and seek instructions”, before reconvening next week “to see whether gaps can be closed or not”.

Iran’s new government, elected in June, tabled revised documents on the sanctions the US would be required to lift, as well as new proposals on what Iran would be required to do to come back into full compliance with the deal.

The West is likely to return to the talks next Wednesday, but has the option of referring Iran to the UN Security Council for being in breach of its obligations under the 2015 deal.

It is possible Iran would respond to such a reference by withdrawing from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and refuse to rejoin unless Israel is required to join.

Iran admitted that progress was slow, adding that its proposals could not be rejected since they were in line with the 2015 agreement.

Israel, not a participant in the talks, said its western allies needed to realize that Iran was stalling as it continued to develop its nuclear program.

Strenuous efforts to reopen talks on how the IAEA, the UN nuclear inspectorate, could reach an agreement on the operation of its cameras at nuclear sites have made little progress, adding to the sense of gloom.

The talks in Vienna are being held between Iran, Russia, China, Britain France and Germany. A US negotiating team is in Vienna but is not permitted to join the talks by Iran, on the basis that Donald Trump left the deal in 2018. — Agencies

December 04, 2021
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