Saeed Khatibzadeh is Iranian spokesperson and deputy foreign minister. While in Paris on Wednesday, September 29, he sets the conditions for a resumption of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program, still deadlocked since the coming to power of new President Ebrahim Raïssi in Tehran. He believes in particular that the United States must lift all sanctions imposed on the country to hope for a rescue of the JCPoA agreement of 2015.
The Iranian foreign minister has indicated that your country will be ready to return “very soon” to the nuclear negotiating table. What does this “very soon” mean?
This is what was said the day the new Iranian government came to power. There are two things to take into account. Iran has considered whether to resume negotiations, and we have come to the conclusion that we will certainly resume them. Then there is a second phase which concerns the evaluation of all the negotiations that have already been carried out to clarify all the dimensions, before entering into an active and effective dialogue. As soon as this reassessment is carried out, we will not waste an hour before arriving in Vienna.
Westerners consider that the more time passes, the less valid it is to renegotiate the agreement because Iran would take advantage of it to continue its nuclear program …
I understand your concern. But when the president [américain Joe] Biden came to power, how many days did it take before the Americans got into the talks again? At the time, there was no European desire to revive negotiations. They kept telling us: “Wait, be patient, it won’t be long. The Americans are assessing the situation, they will certainly come to Vienna. “ I doubt it will take as long as the Biden government waited before our government re-joins the Vienna negotiations. It has only been fifty days since the new Iranian government took office.
Are you going to ask for additional things, in particular on the lifting of sanctions?
We wonder why six successive rounds of negotiations in Vienna have failed. The reasons and shortcomings must be assessed. It is necessary to correct a pathology, to change the points which have remained unsatisfied. In this story, the United States is the party that left the nuclear deal, the party that imposed unilateral sanctions, caused suffering for the Iranian people, and caused billions in losses to the Iranian economy. The United States even punished those of its partners who wanted to trade with Iran.
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