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2015 nuclear deal: Iran accuses Western powers of ‘blame game’

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Iran on Tuesday accused the western parties to its 2015 nuclear deal of
2015 nuclear deal: Iran accuses Western powers of ‘blame game’

Iran on Tuesday accused the western parties to its 2015 nuclear deal of “persisting in their blame game,” a day after European diplomats warned that the pact would soon be terminated if efforts to reactivate it failed.

In a pessimistic assessment of the talks between Iran and major powers in Vienna, diplomats from Britain, France and Germany warned on Monday that “time is running out” to rescue the pact, which they said would very soon become “a empty shell “without advances. in negotiations.

Iran‘s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani responded on Twitter saying: “Some actors persist in their habit of blame game, rather than true diplomacy.

“We came up with our ideas from the beginning and we work constructively and flexibly to bridge the gaps.”

Referring to the United States and its withdrawal from the nuclear pact in 2018, Kani wrote: “Diplomacy is a two-way street.

If there is a real will to remedy the wrongdoing of the culprit, it will pave the way for a quick and good deal. “

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that Washington is continuing its diplomacy with Iran because “it remains, at this time, the best option,” but added that it was “actively engaging with allies and partners. about alternatives “.

The stakes are high. Failure in the negotiations would carry the risk of a new regional war, with Israel pressing for tough policy if diplomacy fails to control Iran‘s nuclear work.

Indirect talks between archenemies Iran and the United States began in April but were halted in June after the election of hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi, whose negotiating team has returned to Vienna after five months with an uncompromising stance.

In 2019, Iran began violating nuclear restrictions under the pact in response to the US withdrawal and the decision to re-impose severe sanctions that have devastated Iran‘s economy.

“Who violated the deal? American people. Who should compensate for that and be flexible? Americans, of course, ”said a senior Iranian official.

Iran‘s clerical rulers believe that a tough approach, spearheaded by its strongly anti-Western supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, may force Washington to accept Tehran’s “maximalist demands”, analysts and diplomats said.

But it could backfire. This is a very dangerous and sensitive topic.

“The failure of diplomacy will have consequences for everyone,” said a diplomat in the Middle East on condition of anonymity.

During the seventh round of talks, which began on November 29, Iran abandoned any commitments it had made in the previous six and demanded more, a senior US official said.

With significant gaps between Iran and the United States on some key issues, such as the speed and scope of the lifting of sanctions and how and when Iran will reverse its nuclear steps, the chances of a deal seem remote.

Iran insists on the immediate removal of all sanctions in a verifiable process.

Washington has said it will remove restrictions “inconsistent” with the nuclear pact if Iran resumes compliance, implying that it would leave in place others such as those imposed under terrorism or human rights measures.

Iran also seeks assurances that “no US administration” will again breach the pact. But Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally binding treaty.

“How can we trust the Americans again? What if they get rid of the deal again? Therefore, the party that violated the agreement must provide guarantees that it will never happen again, ”the Iranian official said.

“This is their problem, not ours to solve it … They can find a solution and give us guarantees.”

Dramatically upping the ante, Iran has also limited the access granted to UN nuclear surveillance inspectors under the nuclear deal, restricting their visits to declared nuclear sites only.

Although essential to reestablishing the nuclear pact, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last month that it had not had access to reinstall surveillance cameras at the TESA Karaj centrifuge parts shop in Iran, which was hit by an apparent sabotage in June in which of the four agency cameras there was destroyed.

“Our talks with the IAEA on the Karaj complex are still continuing,” Iran‘s top nuclear official, Mohammad Eslami, said, according to Iranian media.

Reuters / NAN

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