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Iran censures West’s lack of resolve to make political decisions in Vienna talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This photo shows Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, while he speaks during a news conference in Tehran, on February 21, 2022. (By IRNA)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has decried the Western sides for lacking the resolve to make political decisions critical to negotiations in Vienna between Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries over the 2015 Iran deal.

Speaking at a weekly press conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the pending issues in the talks are “the most difficult, strategic and serious issues that must be resolved.”

He emphasized that “We are still awaiting decisions that Europe and the US must make,” noting that Tehran has not seen their will to make such decisions yet.

Commenting on remarks by Israel’s prime minister, who said recently that he expected an imminent agreement in Vienna, Khatibzadeh said the statements made by Israeli leaders always aim to “wage a psychological war” against the Islamic Republic.

“What the Zionist regime’s rulers are saying is intended for Washington and European capitals,” he said.

Israeli premier Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that Iran may “shortly” agree on a new deal with major powers, but warned that it will be weaker than the original 2015 agreement.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh said “difficult” negotiations are currently underway on the economic guarantees that the US must provide to Iran.

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.

The US administration of President Joe Biden had voiced a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for roughly 10 months in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.

The eighth round of the talks has resumed since February 13 after it was put on pause as diplomats returned to their capitals for consultations.

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