December 1, 2021
TEHRAN – A working group established to conduct talks on how to remove U.S. sanctions on Iran held its first meeting on Tuesday morning as agreed during Monday’s plenary session of Iran and the P4+1 group of countries.
The sanctions removal working group was held at the level of experts and with representatives of Iran, the European Union, and the 4+1 group of countries in attendance at Vienna’s Coburg Hotel, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.
At the meeting, the Iranian negotiators outlined the Islamic Republic of Iran’s views and made some fresh proposals as to how to further the negotiations. They also underlined the need to effectively remove the sanctions against the Iranian nation and encouraged other members to constructively participate in the talks.
The representatives of other countries attending the session also declared their readiness and seriousness to work on the issue of lifting the bans.
Meanwhile, a one-on-one meeting between the head of the Iranian negotiating team Ali Bagheri Kani and European Union External Action Service Deputy Secretary-General Enrique Mora was held on Tuesday afternoon. The two sides reviewed the results of Monday’s meeting and also Tuesday’s session of the sanctions removal working group and held talks over how to continue the negotiations.
Tuesday’s meeting of the sanctions removal was a result of the plenary session in which it was decided that the meeting of the working group would be held before a meeting of another working group tasked to hold talks on Iran’s nuclear activities.
During the sanctions removal meeting, the Iranian delegation reiterated its determination to achieve the result and made it clear to the other delegations that they should actively and constructively present solutions and proposals, according to Fars News.
The Iranian representatives emphasized that the texts obtained in previous periods only play the role of drafts and all these texts can be renegotiated. Therefore, it is necessary to meet Iran’s ideas and demands by presenting innovative plans.
One of the important points raised by Iran was that anything that violated the purpose of the 2015 nuclear deal, that is “normalization of economic and trade relations with Iran,” should be resolved.
Iran emphasized that the two issues of sanctions and nuclear commitments should not be “reciprocal hostages” and that it is necessary to logically resolve the issue of sanctions, which arose from the U.S. action as a violator of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Fars News added that the meeting was held in a professional environment, and everyone, despite differences of opinion, expressed readiness and seriousness to discuss interaction in lifting sanctions. Several delegations, especially Russia and China, praised the pragmatic approach and clear categorization of Iran’s demands.
Earlier, Bagheri Kani himself reiterated that the texts of the previous rounds of talks were only “drafts” and thus they are not legally binding for Iran. “Nothing is agreed on unless everything has been agreed on,” he told reporters on Monday after the plenary session.
“Accordingly, all the discussions that were concluded in the previous six rounds are subject to negotiations and this was agreed by all parties in today’s meeting as well,” Baqeri Kani said.
According to Bagheri Kani, the cruel and illegal sanctions were to be on the agenda of Tuesday’s working group on the removal of sanctions.
“As the Iranian negotiation team enjoys a serious will and practical readiness to reach an agreement, we are optimistic about the future,” he added, stating that “because we do not trust the other side, we are not too optimistic.”
He added that the participants also agreed that a special working group should start its work on Tuesday to discuss “the removal of illegal and brutal sanctions” imposed on the Iranian nation, according to Fars News.
“I believe that this is a great achievement that all member states of the 4+1 group accepted Iran’s rightful request and emphasized that the state of the U.S. regime’s illegal sanctions against our people must be clarified first and then other issues be discussed,” Baqeri Kani said.
He also referred to what happened during Monday’s meeting. “During the meeting, we emphasized that the main factor behind the current conditions is actions taken by a country, which left the agreement in violation of the accord and the United Nations Security Council resolution [that upheld it], and also reinstated past sanctions [on Iran] in contravention of international law and regulations while imposing new sanctions as well,” Baqeri Kani said.
Diplomats from Iran the P4+1 group of countries -China, Russia, France, and the UK plus Germany – gathered at the Palais Coburg hotel in Vienna amid global fanfare. It marked the resumption of the talks after a break of more than five months.
Bagheri Kani, Iran’s chief negotiator, and Enrique Mora, the EU deputy foreign policy chief, jointly chaired Monday’s plenary session.