Araqchi: ‘sanctions’ will top next nuclear talks agenda

Tehran, April 22, IRNA – The next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group to be held on22-24 April in Vienna will be focused on ‘sanctions’, says Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs.

Araqchi made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the eve of the next round of talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 which is to be held in Vienna, Austria, later on Wednesday.

He stressed that removal of multilayered sanctions which Iran has consistently dubbed as ‘unlawful and unjust’ has been Iran’s main demand throughout the negotiations.

However, he added, recent developments, particularly the passage by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the ‘Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015′ seems to have cast some further doubt over the US policy makers’ overall intentions regarding the whole negotiations.

Araghchi stressed that ‘as we return to negotiations this week, we will seek explanation from the US team and greater clarity regarding all detailed aspects of sanction removal.’

Asked about Iran’s view on the U.S. Senate’s move, Araqchi is responded: ‘While the Decision adopted by the Senate Committee is a domestic US issue and will not relieve the US Government from any obligation it might undertake in a possible agreement, it is evident that the signing of the Review Act tends to betray the fundamental principle of good faith, entailing consequences.

The United States is a party to a multilateral negotiations and its Government will be responsible to ensure that its commitments, particularly those related to sanctions, are fulfilled and performed entirely and in good faith regardless of its internal discourse.’

Araqchi also rejected linking the US commitment to remove all nuclear-related sanctions to ‘irrelevant conditionalities’ by pointing out that ‘this core undertaking, as an international multilateral commitment, cannot be subjected to internal procedures of US Government, whatever their nature. Nor can there be any linkage to other matters beyond the very clearly defined steps envisaged in the agreement, if one is reached. Of course, any material breach of the agreement by the US, Iran or any other party would entail consequences for the concerned party and to the agreement itself.’

He made it clear that despite all the odds, ‘the Islamic Republic of Iran will participate in negotiation with resolve and good faith and is confident that with political will and prudence of our negotiating partners, a final agreement, which will be beneficial for all, is within reach.’