Vienna negotiations…Working committees begin discussing financial sanctions today, and Iran’s chief negotiator: The start of the eighth round is encouraging
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Today, Tuesday, the joint working committees will begin discussing issues related to financial sanctions on Tehran, after the end of the first day of the eighth round in Vienna, which the Iranian chief negotiator described as encouraging.
Yesterday, in Vienna, the eighth round of talks to revive the nuclear agreement concluded in 2015 between Iran and the countries still party to the nuclear agreement (France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China) began. These negotiations discuss lifting sanctions, Iran’s nuclear commitments, as well as guarantees that it will not Washington withdrew from the agreement again.
Washington has stressed that the priority of these negotiations is a speedy return to full compliance with the nuclear agreement.
Following the meeting of the Joint Committee for the Nuclear Agreement in Vienna yesterday, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri said that the current round of negotiations is discussing lifting sanctions and providing guarantees to his country.
Bagheri added that the joint working committees will start discussing issues related to the financial and banking sanctions imposed on Tehran on Tuesday, noting that the eighth round has started an encouraging start.
After the end of the first day of the round, Bagheri added that the parties agreed to place the item on lifting sanctions in a verifiable way at the top of the agenda of the current round of negotiations, including providing guarantees that the United States will not withdraw from the agreement in the future.
For his part, the European coordinator for the talks, Enrique Mora, said that all parties showed “a clear will to work towards a successful conclusion to these negotiations.”
“It’s a very good sign,” Mora told reporters after the start of the tour. “We will work very hard in the coming days and weeks… It will be tough.”
He explained after the meeting that the negotiators will work throughout the week, but they will stop from Friday to Sunday for logistical reasons, and said that they expect to resume work next Monday.
For his part, the Russian ambassador to Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, who heads his country’s delegation to the negotiations, said that the delegations “agreed in particular to intensify the drafting process in order to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”
And Ulyanov had said earlier Monday that this “probably will be the last round of negotiations.”
Hours before the resumption of negotiating meetings at the Palais Coburg Hotel, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, “The agenda is the issue of guarantees and verification” of the lifting of US sanctions in the event of a return to the agreement, according to what the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.
He added that the most important thing for Tehran is to reach a point where it can verify that Iranian oil will be sold easily and without any limits, and that the money in exchange for this oil will be transferred in foreign currencies to Iranian bank accounts, and that it will be able to benefit from all the economic returns in different sectors.
The delegations of Tehran, Moscow and Beijing held a joint meeting “to compare observations before the official start of the eighth round,” according to the head of the Russian delegation, Mikhail Ulyanov.
Hours before resuming negotiating meetings at the Palais Coburg hotel, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that any upcoming agreement on Iran’s nuclear program must guarantee Iran’s sale of oil and access to revenue without any hindrance.
Abdullahian revealed that the Vienna negotiations will discuss a “joint draft” on nuclear sanctions and measures.
For his part, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the Iranian negotiating delegation will focus on discussing the draft lifting of sanctions in the eighth round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna.
Zadeh added – during a press conference in Tehran – that any agreement must include real guarantees for the lifting of sanctions.
The concerned parties held 6 rounds of talks between last April and June, before they were suspended for about 5 months, shortly after the Iranian presidential elections, which ended with the victory of Ibrahim Raisi, and then resumed starting on November 29.
An American warning and an Israeli threat
And the American negotiator, Rob Malley, warned that the time margin does not exceed “a few weeks”, and of a “crisis” if diplomatic efforts fail.
Western press reports stated that Israel – which is vehemently opposed to the nuclear agreement – shared intelligence information with Washington stating that Iran intends to raise enrichment to 90%, which is the percentage that can be reached by using enriched uranium for military purposes.
And Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reiterated Monday that his country “will not allow Iran to become a state at the nuclear threshold.”
“Of course, we prefer to act through international cooperation, but if necessary, we will defend ourselves by ourselves,” he told a session of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.