Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Germany says chances of saving JCPOA dwindling

The chances of reviving the Iran nuclear deal are dwindling, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says. Tehran has reiterated that reaching a final agreement solely depends on the Western side’s responsible attitude.

“We now have the chance to reach an agreement that will allow sanctions to be lifted. But if we do not succeed very quickly, the negotiations risk failing,” Scholz told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

“The Iranian leadership has a choice. Now is the moment of truth,” he stated.

The United States left the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 and began to implement what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, depriving the country of the economic benefits of the agreement, including the removal of sanctions, for which Iran had agreed to certain caps on its nuclear activities.

In the meantime, the other parties to the deal, in particular France, Britain and Germany, only paid lip service to safeguarding Iran’s economic dividends as promised under the JCPOA, prompting Iran – after an entire year of “strategic patience” – to reduce its nuclear obligations in a legal move under the deal.

Iran has stressed the ball is in the court of the United States, and that Washington must remove the anti-Tehran sanctions.

The Vienna talks, which involve Iran as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia directly, and the United States indirectly, resumed in late November with the aim of restoring the landmark agreement.

Western diplomats say they are now in the final phase of the talks and believe that a deal is within reach.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdolahian has called on the European parties to the Vienna negotiations “not to make any miscalculations” during the final phase of the talks.

He made the comment in a meeting with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich.

Amir Abdollahina reiterated that Tehran has been determined to reach a good deal with other negotiators since day one, adding Iran expects the European sides and all signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to closely keep Tehran’s red lines in mind.

He said Iran also expects the Europeans to, after years of inaction, play an effective role in restoring the legitimate rights of Iran as the party which suffered losses due to Washington’s unilateral and illegal withdrawal from the 2015 agreement.

He stressed Iran believes the “quality” of an agreement should be assessed within the context of “time.”

“If Iran’s legitimate demands are heeded today, it will be possible to reach an agreement in Vienna,” he noted.

The top German diplomat, in turn, reviewed the breakthroughs made in Vienna and, stating the talks are at a sensitive juncture and that it is necessary that all sides make utmost efforts to pass through this phase in the shortest possible time and usher in a new chapter in their engagement.

She stressed that Iran’s rights must be respected, calling for redoubled efforts to reach a good deal in Vienna.

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