Iran accuses Western powers of ‘blame game’ over nuclear deal

Negotiations on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leaves after a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting in Vienna, Austria, November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

December 14, 2021

By Parisa Hafezi

VIENNA (Reuters) – Anhran on Tuesday accused Western parties to the 2015 nuclear deal of “stickyness in their blame game”, a day after European diplomats warned that the pact This will soon become an empty shell if not revived.

“Some actors have continued their habit of the blame game, rather than real diplomacy. We proposed our ideas early and worked constructively and flexibly to close the gap,” Iran’s top negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said on Twitter.

“Diplomacy is a two-way street. If there is a genuine will to correct the wrongdoing of the perpetrator, the path to a good, quick case will be opened.”

In a pessimistic assessment of talks between Iran and major powers in Vienna, diplomats from Britain, France and Germany on Monday warned that “time is running out” to rescue the pact, which according to them will soon become “an empty shell” if there is no progress. in negotiation.

Indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States began in April but stopped in June following the election of hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi, whose negotiating team returned to Vienna after five months with a no-no position. tolerance.

The stakes are very high. A failure in the talks would lead to a new regional war, with Israel pushing for a hardline policy if diplomacy fails to rein in Iran’s nuclear activities.

In 2019, Iran began violating its nuclear restrictions under the treaty in response to US President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the agreement and re-impose harsh sanctions that have devastated the economy. Iran.

“Who violated the agreement? American. Who should make up for that and be flexible? The Americans of course,” said a senior Iranian official.

Iran’s clerical rulers believe that a tough approach, led by the powerful anti-Western Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, could force Washington to accept “maximum demands”. of Tehran, analysts and diplomats said.

“But it can backfire. This is a very dangerous and sensitive issue. A failure of a diplomat in the Middle East will have consequences for everyone,” said a diplomat in the Middle East.

In the seventh round of talks, which began on November 29, Iran abandoned any compromises it had made in the previous six times, pocketing the deals of others and demanding more. , a senior US official said.

With significant gaps remaining between Iran and the United States on a number of key issues — such as the speed and scope of sanctions lifting and how and when Iran will reverse nuclear steps — the The chance to reach an agreement seems far away.

Iran insists it will immediately lift all sanctions in a verifiable process. The United States has said it will lift “inconsistent” restrictions on the nuclear accord if Iran continues to comply with the agreement, implying that it will leave other things in place, such as measures imposed under the agreement. terrorism or human rights.

Iran also sought assurances that “no US administration” would abandon the treaty again. But Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally binding treaty.

“How can we trust the Americans again? What if they reneged on the deal again? Therefore, the party violating the agreement should give guarantees that it will never happen again,” the Iranian official said.

“This is their problem not ours to solve… They can find a solution and give us reassurance.”

(Written by Parisa Hafezi; Edited by Lincoln Feast, Robert Birsel) Iran accuses Western powers of ‘blame game’ over nuclear deal


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