Monday, September 26, 2022

Ex-official: Safeguard issue seems to be ‘only knot’ in Vienna talks

A former Iranian official says the so-called Safeguard issues between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog appears to be the “only knot” in the diplomatic process in Vienna aimed at salvaging the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.

In an interview with state radio, Hamid-Reza Asefi, a former Foreign Ministry spokesman, said it seemed that the issue over Washington’s refusal to provide commitment guarantees to Tehran had been resolved in the latest round of the talks in the Austrian capital.

He stressed, however, that a country like the US may not uphold a pledge to remain committed to the nuclear deal in the future. “Even if it does provide them, there will be no performance guarantees.”

On the other side, the commentator added, “The Europeans assured that the companies that will enter Iran for investment will not be included in [possible] sanctions in the future if the US exits the nuclear deal again, and the Europeans will honor their obligations.”

Iran and the remaining parties to the deal held a new round of talks in Vienna last week, with both sides hinting some progress after the negotiations. The US joined the talks indirectly.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Iran “expected that all sides show determination and seriousness to reach the final text of the agreement.”

Tehran has dismissed reports that a text for restoring the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran had been completed and that negotiations in Vienna were finished. It says the ball is in the court of the US, which left the deal in 2018, and it is now upon Washington to take a political decision.

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