News ID: 100191
Publish Date : 19 February 2022 - 22:16

Moment of Truth for West in Vienna

MUNICH (Dispatches) -- Iran on Saturday called on the remaining participants to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to consider its red lines and avoid using media ruse to influence negotiations in Vienna.
Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian told his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on the sidelines of the 58th Munich Security Conference that from the first day of the Vienna talks, Iran has been resolutely determined to reach a good agreement.
“The Islamic Republic expects the Europeans and other JCPOA parties to carefully consider Iran’s red lines and after years of inaction make their best to play an effective role in securing the legitimate rights of Iran as a party that was wronged by the United States’ unilateral and illegal withdrawal” from the JCPOA, he said.
The top Iranian diplomat also rejected fictitious deadlines in the Vienna talks.
“Tehran is taking heed of both the quality of an agreement and the element of time. If Iran’s legitimate demands are taken into account, an agreement can be reached now,” he said.
Amir-Abdollahian further underlined the need for the opposite side not to make a miscalculation in the final days of the Vienna discussions by resorting to media ruse.
He touched on the history of relations between Iran and Germany, expressing Tehran’s readiness to hold a joint commission at the earliest agreed time and expand bilateral economic, political, cultural and scientific ties, as well as cooperation in the technical filed and between the two countries’ private sectors.
The German foreign minister, for her part, welcomed an all-out expansion of bilateral relations and emphasized Berlin’s resolve to achieve it.
The Vienna negotiations, she said, have reached a critical stage which requires all parties to do their best to pass the current level in the shortest possible time and open a new chapter.
Iran’s rights should be respected while efforts must be stepped up towards a good agreement in Vienna, she said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Saturday that “now is the moment of truth” to determine whether Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal can be salvaged.
Negotiators from Iran and the remaining parties to the agreement — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — are working in Vienna to restore life to the accord.
Scholz told participants at the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday that talks have come a long way over the past 10 months and “all elements for a conclusion of the negotiations are on the table”.
“We now have the opportunity to reach an agreement that makes it possible for sanctions to be lifted,” Scholz said. “At the same time, it’s the case that if we don’t succeed very quickly in this, the negotiations threaten to fail.”
“The Iranian leadership now has a choice,” the German chancellor claimed. “Now is the moment of truth.”
On Thursday, Nour News website which is close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said the Islamic Republic “has stated from the beginning that as long as the United States does not take the necessary steps to remove sanctions, the Islamic Republic will not do anything to reduce its nuclear activities, which are in line with its obligations under the JCPOA”.
Under former president Donald Trump, the U.S. reimposed heavy sanctions on Iran after abandoning

the deal. After waiting for a year, Tehran responded by scaling down its compliance as per an article of the agreement which allows the parties to take countermeasures if their rights are not respected.
President Joe Biden has signaled that he wants to rejoin the deal and undo his predecessor’s wrongs.
But U.S. media reports said nearly 200 House Republicans had written to Biden warning any agreement made with Iran without Congress’ approval “will meet the same fate” as the 2015 agreement abandoned by Trump.
The letter reportedly came after Amir-Abdollahian publicly called for Congress on Wednesday to pledge that the U.S. will stay in a potential deal.
The Republican lawmakers took issue with some of Iran’s demands, noting that the country has asked for a “guarantee” that the U.S. will no longer place sanctions on the country.
“We feel compelled to remind you that you do not have the power to provide any such ‘guarantee,’” the letter said. “We will demand that any such agreement be submitted to Congress pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, and we will use the law’s 30-day review period to warn our colleagues, the American public and the private sector about any dangers and flaws of such an agreement.”
According to Ali Vaez, Iran project director at Crisis Group, “this letter shows that the Republicans are either incapable or unwilling to learn from the failures of Trump’s maximalist 12 demands”.
What the Biden administration is doing, he said, “is a pathway back to the original deal, not a new one”.
“All the political posturing notwithstanding, there is practically nothing that Congress can do to stop that from happening,” Vaez told Axios.
Amir-Abdollahian has publicly appealed to Congress to make a “political statement” committing the U.S. to the potential nuclear deal.
“As a matter of principle, public opinion in Iran cannot accept as a guarantee the words of a head of state, let alone the United States, due to the withdrawal of Americans from the JCPOA,” he told the Financial Times on Wednesday.
On Friday, Amir-Abdollahian separately met with his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra, reiterating the need for the removal of all of sanctions inconsistent with the JCPOA and observance of the country’s red lines.
Iran and the Netherlands, he said, should work to bring their views closer and implement bilateral agreements to further develop their relations.
The minister also referred to the situation in Afghanistan and underlined the need to provide the Afghan people and the country’s refugees with humanitarian aid, saying the international community should fulfill its responsibilities towards the conflict-ridden country.
He also touched on the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, saying it is not in the interest of the regional countries.
“It is necessary for all states to responsibly end the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen by ending the war and pursuing a political solution.”
Hoekstra, for his part, expressed hopes that an agreement would be reached in Vienna as soon as possible and stressed Amsterdam’s preparedness to expand its ties with Tehran.
The Dutch foreign minister also voiced hope to visit Tehran soon.