Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former Iranian FM Zarif calls for direct talks with US over nuclear deal

Iran’s former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called for the direct talks between Iran and the US over  the revival of Tehran's nuclear deal, JCPOA.

In an interview with online Faraz daily on Monday, Zarif advised the negotiating team to pursue direct talks with the US, since “firstly, mediators have their own interests, and secondly, mediators want to remain mediators, therefore, they do not convey the facts.”

The former top diplomat even went further and claimed that during the negotiations with the West to strike the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal  in 2014, some individuals illegally accessed details of the talks and leaked the “selective parts” of the negotiations to create tensions inside the country.

The atomic deal slipped into a coma in 2018 after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal and several rounds of extensive talks have failed to resuscitate the agreement.

Zarif said the war in Ukraine and the expectations by Iran and the West were the two major hurdles during the administration of incumbent President Ebrahim Raisi to bring the JCPOA back to life, explaining, “We were waiting for the hard winter (in Europe) and they were waiting for the overthrow (of the Iranian government).”

Just days after the legislative polls in Iran, the former foreign minister called on the incoming lawmakers to “give a free reign to the government for talks” on the revival of the nuclear deal and refrain from “creating obstacles.”

In other comments Zarif said the biggest challenge for the former administration of President Hassan Rouhani and his negotiating team in foreign policy issues was the “dagger that stabbed us in the back” at home.

He said the principlists who used to say that “80 percent of the country’s problems are due to inefficiency and 20 percent are due to the sanctions, have a different opinion today.”

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