Monday, September 26, 2022

Russia: Final document on restoration of JCPOA drafted

Russia’s top negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov has warned against reckless steps that can undermine the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He says a final document on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal has already been drafted.

“There is always a probability that someone may make reckless steps that would simply undermine the Vienna talks. Such a possibility cannot be ruled out completely,” he said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

“But such a situation will speak about the utter irresponsibility of the one who ventures such steps. At the current advanced stage of the talks – a very advanced stage – it is absolutely inadmissible to create excessive tensions, to put a positive outcome at risk,” the Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations noted.

“We are five minutes from the finish. And we must master this final stretch quite quickly and effectively,” he added.

The Joint Commission of the JCPOA has had seven offline meetings in Vienna since April to find ways to restore the nuclear deal in its original form. The eighth round of talks kicked off in December 2021.

Moscow seeks to complete talks on the return to the JCPOA in February this year, Ulyanov continued.

“Either way, we will aim to complete negotiations as soon as possible, preferably in the current month,” he stated.

Ulyanov noted that Moscow categorically rejected the establishment of “artificial deadlines” for the completion of negotiations, but believes that they should not be delayed.

“In terms of the Russian Federation, we are strongly against setting artificial deadlines. At the same time, we agree that negotiations should not drag on and if desired, they can be finished by the end of this month. This is real in the presence of political will and readiness of the parties to show reasonable flexibility,” he said.

According to Ulyanov, a final document on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal has already been drafted.

“I think yes, the current stage can be called the final one. A lot of work has been done,” he stated when asked at which stage the talks currently are.

“A final document has been drafted. It has several provisions requiring additional work but the paper is on the table. It is quite long, having more than 20 pages. This is the basis to finish the talks within a short time,” he noted.

According to the Russian diplomat, it will be a political document outlining concrete steps to return to the original nuclear deal.

“A political section and supplements. The document covers the issues of cancelling US sanctions, as well as steps in the nuclear sphere Iran will have to make, and, finally, the sequence of the implementation of these agreements,” he explained.

“When the final agreement is reached, a period of preparations for its implementation will begin. It may take a couple of months. And after that, a day will come when we, ultimately, see the JCPOA in action in the format it was agreed back in 2015. But this is only a rough plan and we will have to work on it further,” Ulyanov stressed.

When asked whether the final document will require any actions by the United Nations Security Council, which passed a special resolution in support for the JCPOA back in 2015, Ulyanov noted that the topic of another UN resolution has not been raised.

“Probably, there will be no need in it,” he added.

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