Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Iran, US suspend sanctions relief, nuclear sanctions in Vienna talks

Diplomats say Iran and the United States are displaying little flexibility on key issues in indirect nuclear talks, raising questions about whether a deal can be reached soon enough to renew the 2015 accord, That could allay fears of a wider Middle East war.

After eight rounds of talks, the hardest point remains the speed and scope of lifting sanctions on Tehran – including Iran’s demand for US guarantees of no further punitive measures – and how and when sanctions on Iran’s nuclear work are reinstated. Let’s do.

The nuclear deal limits Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for it to develop a nuclear weapon – an ambition Tehran denies – in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

But former US President Donald Trump deferred the deal in 2018, saying it did not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence, and renegotiate sanctions that have severely damaged Iran’s economy. applied.

FILE – This file photo, released by Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization on November 5, 2019, shows centrifuge machines at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

After waiting a year, Iran responded to Trump’s pressure by gradually breaching the deal, including rebuilding enriched uranium reserves, refining it to high fissile purity, and installing advanced centrifuges to accelerate production. Included.

After months of stop-start talks that began after Joe Biden replaced Trump in the White House, Western officials now say the time to renegotiate the agreement is running out. But Iranian officials denied they were under time pressure, arguing that the economy could survive because of oil sales to China.

‘We need a guarantee’

A former Iranian official said Iran’s ruler “is certain that his steadfast, maximalist approach will yield results.”

France said on Tuesday that Iran and world powers were still far from reviving the deal, despite some progress in late December.

The US State Department said on January 4 that the issues “at the center of the talks” were sanctions relief and the nuclear steps that Iran would take to back the deal.

Iran insists on the immediate removal of all Trump-era sanctions in a verifiable process. Washington has said that if Iran resumes compliance with the deal it will remove sanctions inconsistent with the 2015 accord, meaning it will replace others imposed under terrorism or human rights measures.

A senior Iranian official said, “The Americans must assure that in the future there will be no new sanctions on Iran under any label. We need a guarantee that the US will not leave this agreement again.”

Iran’s NorNews, a media outlet affiliated with the Supreme National Security Council, reported on Wednesday that Iran’s key terms in the talks are “assurance and verification.”

US officials were not immediately available to comment on the question of the guarantee. However, US officials have said that Biden cannot promise that the US government will not back down from the deal because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally binding treaty.

FILE - People walk past the Palace Coburg where nuclear talks take place in closed rooms on December 17, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

FILE – People walk past the Palace Coburg where nuclear talks take place in closed rooms on December 17, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

Asked to comment on that US constitutional reality, an Iranian official said: “It is their internal problem.”

On the issue of obtaining verification that sanctions have been lifted – at which point Iran would have to resume sanctions on its nuclear program – the senior Iranian official said Iran and Washington differed on timetables.

“Iran needs a couple of weeks to confirm the lifting of sanctions (before it reverses its nuclear moves. But the other side says it will take a few days to load oil on the ship, export it and route it through the banking system). That will be enough to transfer your money,” the official said.

Threat

Shading the background of the talks are threats by Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear weapon, but which sees Iran as an existential threat, to attack Iranian nuclear installations if It sees diplomacy as ultimately meaningless in containing Tehran’s nuclear capabilities and capability.

Iran says it will give a tough fight if it is attacked.

A Western diplomat said “the beginning of February is a realistic end date for the Vienna talks” because the longer Iran stays out of the deal, the more nuclear expertise it will gain, reducing the time it takes to race to build a bomb. Do if he chose to copy.

“We’re still not sure whether Iran really wants a deal,” another Western diplomat said.

Iran has denied adhering to any “artificial” deadline.

A second Iranian official close to Iran’s negotiating team said, “At times, they have asked Iran to slow down its nuclear work during talks, and even the Americans have sought an interim deal through other parties.” messaged about it.”

“It was rejected by Iran.”

Asked for comment, a State Department spokesman, who did not wish to be identified, told Reuters: “Of course we – and the entire international community – want Iran to slow down its nuclear program and be very clearly informed. has done.”

“Also, we don’t negotiate the details publicly, but these reports are far from over.”

Other points of contention include Iran’s advanced nuclear centrifuges – machines that purify uranium for use as fuel in nuclear power plants or, if purified to higher levels, weapons.

“Discussions are continuing on Iran’s demand to store and seal its advanced centrifuges. … They wanted those centrifuges to be destroyed and sent abroad,” the first official said.

Asked to comment on the question, a Western diplomat said: “We are looking for ways to address our differences with Iran regarding the verification process.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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