Iran says U.S has to drop “unacceptable proposals” to avoid delay in agreement

Mar 10, 2022: According to a report by Reuters, Iran staked its nuclear talks with world powers on Thursday, saying the United States had to abandon “unacceptable proposals” as the possibility of reaching an agreement due to last-minute Russian demands was thrown into uncertainty.

Eleven months of negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, in which sanctions were lifted in exchange for sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, have reached their final stages.

Talks stalled last week when Moscow demanded written guarantees from the U.S that Western sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its trade with Iran.

Iranian chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani returned to Vienna on Wednesday after holding consultations in Tehran and met the coordinator of the talks, Enrique Mora of the European Union.

Mora broke off informal meetings on Monday, saying the time had come for political decisions to be taken to end the negotiations.

On Thursday, several Iranian officials appeared to be tightening Tehran’s stance. After months of silence in the talks, Supreme Leader Ali Husseini Khamenei quoted the Tasnim news agency as saying that Iran would not bow to pressure to reduce its defense capabilities, regional presence and progress in nuclear technology.

“Regional presence gives us strategic depth and more power. Why should we give it up? Scientific progress in the nuclear field is related to our future needs, and if we give that up, will anyone help us in the future?” he said.

While security official Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, on Twitter accused the US of not taking the necessary decisions, which was making the talks more complicated.

Iranian officials have been cautious in responding to Russia’s demands, but advised on Thursday that there are still serious issues to be resolved in the nuclear talks. Tasnim news agency quoted an Iranian official as saying that important issues related to guarantees and sanctions remained unresolved.

Iran has also said it wants assurances that no future U.S president will withdraw from the nuclear deal.

Russia’s envoy to the talks, Mikhail Ilyanov, rejected any suggestion that Moscow delaying the agreement, saying a text was not final because new demands had been made by other participants. “Given the new situation and the wave of sanctions against Russia, we have the right to defend our interests in the nuclear field and in the broader context,” Ilyanov said.

He said the United States and the European Union need to make it clear that neither current nor future sanctions could affect the implementation of Iran’s nuclear program, nor, more broadly, Russia’s trade with Iran.

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