Iran’s outgoing foreign minister says there is “a good chance” of reaching an agreement in the Vienna talks before the end of the administration.
Retired Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has expressed optimism about talks in Vienna aimed at rescuing his country’s nuclear deal with world powers, saying the deal could even lead to the ouster of President-elect Ibrahim Raisi in August.
“There is a good chance we will reach an agreement by the end of our term,” Zarif told Al Jazeera’s Semi Zeidan at a meeting of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on Saturday, the same day that conservative Rice was announced. winner: Iranian presidential election.
The 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
However, former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the agreement in 2018. And again he distorted the sanctions on the Iranian economy as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. In response, Iran has backed down from its potential nuclear obligations, leaving the JCPOA stranded.
Since April, Iran, the other signatories – Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany, the European Union – have been trying to find a way to keep the deal going.
“Negotiations are going on right now as we speak,” said Zar Arif in Antalya, Turkey. “The text is becoming clearer and clearer. The brackets are being removed, “he added, smiling without offering further details.
Zar’s optimistic tone was somewhat at odds with the caution expressed by Russian Ambassador to the Vienna talks Mikhail Ulyanov on Friday.
“Some difficult and time-consuming issues have not been resolved yet,” Ulyanov said, noting that progress has been made in recent days.
The French Foreign Ministry also said on Wednesday that there were still serious disagreements.
State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated on Thursday that the Vienna talks had progressed since April, but that challenges remained, saying he could not “set a date” when the current phase could end.
The JCPOA’s hopes of salvation have risen since White O’Brien climbed the White House in January. The US President wants to revive the deal, even extend its terms, and several rounds of indirect US-Iran talks have taken place.
The talks are not straightforward, as Iran refuses to face-to-face meetings, but the United States has held talks with many of the participants.
“Most of our problems are cognitive,” Zarif said on the forum. “The problem is that the United States must understand that it was the United States that left the deal, and that goal was not achieved.
“Now it comes back to the deal, so it can not dictate the goals that it could not achieve at the negotiating table through economic warfare. I think this is a cognitive transformation that the US administration needs to make. And I think we get there, but not there yet. ”
Commenting on Friday’s election in Iran, Zar Arif said that the electoral procedures that led to Raisi’s presidency should be respected.
“From now on, each of us will have to work in some way, regardless of whether we agree with him or not, whether we like his policy or we do not like his policy, he is now elected by the people. “, – He said: ,
Despite his strong stance against the nuclear deal, Rice campaigned for the promise of easing sanctions, saying he would honor any commitments made by the previous state, including the JCPOA.
He said, however, that he planned to form a “strong” government to move the agreement in the right direction.