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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Germany urges Iran to return to talks with ‘realistic proposal’


Iranian officials ruled out an interim agreement and called for a comprehensive deal.

Germany called on Iran to present “realistic” proposals at talks in Vienna that aim to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, the German official said Iran’s latest proposals, presented during last week’s talks, are “not a basis for a successful end to talks”.

“We reviewed the proposals…carefully and thoroughly and concluded that Iran violated almost all compromises found previously in months of hard negotiations,” she said, as quoted by Reuters.

The official added that “the window of opportunity is closing more and more”, noting that Germany is “committed to the diplomatic path” .

The Iranian delegation, led by top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, proposed changes to the text in a draft agreement reportedly 70-80% completed during the previous six rounds of talks.

Israel doubles down on anti-Iran rhetoric as world powers scramble to restore nuclear deal


Similarly, the US has also dismissed the proposals by claiming that they were not constructive, accusing Iran of not being serious about the talks.
On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that his country will not consider an interim agreement during the current talks in Vienna. He also said the Iranian side has been flexible throughout the negotiations.
“We know what we want and what we want is completely within the framework of the JCPOA,” said Khatibzadeh, noting that the information in the proposals are open for negotiation and examination.
Russia’s envoy at the nuclear talks Mikhail Ulyanov said Iran has “the sovereign right to define its position”.
“Of course, there is no contradiction between an interim and a comprehensive agreements. But It is a sovereign right of # Iran to define its position. Probably this is an indication that Tehran expects a comprehensive solution to be found without any delay,” said Ulyanov.

Diplomats returned to nuclear negotiations Vienna on 29 November following months of delay. The talks are being attended by diplomats from the p4+1 – China, France, Russia, the UK plus Germany.

The indirect US-Iran talks initially started in the Austrian capital in April this year to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, but adjourned following the sixth round in June. They were put on hold as Iran’s elections took place, which saw the victory of Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran returned to negotiations in efforts to lift crippling sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic since former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018.

Meanwhile, regional rival Israel has been accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons over the the decades in a bid to maintain its military power in the region while continuing to occupy Palestine without a threat.
More recently, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on world powers to take a hard line against Iran during the current round of Vienna talks.
Khatibzadeh rejected Bennett’s statements, saying that “the occupying regime in Jerusalem has been opposed to any dialogue in the region since day one”.
“The sad thing about history is that these statements are made by regime officials who claim to have nuclear warheads and are not a member of any international monitoring regime and have not accepted the safeguards,” said Khatibzadeh on Monday, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post, during a weekly press briefing.

Last week, Iran accused Israel of “trumpeting lies to poison” the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna after a report written by a Tel-Aviv based reporter for Axios claimed Tehran has ramped up its uranium enrichment.

The report cited intelligence shared by Israel over the past two weeks with the US and a number of European allies. It claimed that Iran is taking technical steps to enriching uranium at 90%, which is the required level for developing a nuclear weapon.

“I explicitly told Mr. Borrel that the report of 90% uranium enrichment in Iran is a sheer lie,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Monday, referring to a conversation he had with the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell.
The eighth round of talks is expected to take place later this week.

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