Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh

Iran says ready to continue nuclear talks, rejects 'blame game'

Tehran says it is waiting for counteroffers after U.S., European powers slam its new position as backtracking on compromises made during previous six rounds of negotiations

AFP |
Published: 12.06.21, 13:22
Iran said Monday it was ready to resume nuclear talks but based on draft proposals it submitted last week, accusing Western powers of stalling negotiations in Vienna.
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  • Last week, the Islamic republic returned to international talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal after a five-month pause.
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    Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh
    Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh
    Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh
    (Photo: AFP)
    On Wednesday it submitted two draft resolutions on the lifting of U.S. sanctions and nuclear-related measures.
    But at the weekend the United States, as well as European participants at the Vienna talks, accused Iran of back-tracking.
    A senior U.S. administration official said the proposals "walked back any of the compromises that Iran had floated" during the previous six rounds of negotiations.
    The official accused Iran of seeking to "pocket all of the compromises that others — the U.S. in particular — had made and then ask for more".
    On Monday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh hit back.
    "Our texts are fully negotiable," he told a news conference about the draft proposals," also charging that the other parties "want to play a blame game".
    "We are waiting naturally to hear the other side's opinion concerning these texts and whether they have a real (counter) offer to make to us in writing," Khatibzadeh added.
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    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria last week
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The seventh round of nuclear talks ended Friday after five days in Vienna, with delegations returning to their national capitals and expected to go back to Austria next week.
    Khatibzadeh said the negotiations were expected to resume "at the end of the week", without elaborating.
    The landmark 2015 nuclear accord was initially agreed between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
    The deal is aimed at putting curbs on Iran's nuclear program to ensure it could not develop an atomic weapon, in exchange for sanctions relief for Tehran.
    But it began unraveling in 2018 when then-U.S. president Donald Trump pulled out and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to start exceeding limits on its nuclear program the following year.
    Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful.
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