…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: The talk of concluding the Iran nuclear talks this month seems calculated to keep media attention focused on them. I don’t why anyone really thinks this is going to matter. Both sides presumably already know what their last compromise positions will be.

If the West thinks it can ‘wear the Iranians down’ it needs a quick lecture on how long Iran has existed, a few thousand years, compared to America’s two hundred plus.

A key phrase also being glosssed over is Iran’s insistence that the sanctions removal “must be verified”, giving an estimate of six months for that. So it is highly unlikely for a real break through.

‘Steps’ are not break throughs, but there will be those who will want to present them as such. And continuing talks are not breakthroughs, and neither are agreements that take six months to assess that they are real.

The acurate term for what is going on now is “a work in progress”, one not sexy enough to garner headline status. So expect to see ‘steps’ reported as ‘agreements’ so the media keeps its clicks up and ad revenue coming in. Welcome to how the world really works, with lots of mirages… Jim W. Dean ]

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Not Greeks bearing gifts, but Persians

First published … May 05, 2021

Iran’s chief negotiator says Tehran’s resumption of the voluntary implementation of the allowing short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear sites is “predicated” on the verifiable lifting of sanctions.

In a post on his official Twitter page on Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who is leading the Iranian negotiating team in the Vienna talks, expressed hope that the sanctions would be lifted before May 21, the deadline set as part of an ad hoc agreement struck between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on inspections of the country’s nuclear sites.

“Resumption of voluntary application of AP by Iran is predicated on sanctions being lifted. We’d like to get to it before 21 May, if possible,” said the tweet.

On February 23, Iran halted its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement.

The suspension came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed in December 2020 by the Iranian Parliament in response to both the US withdrawal from a UN-endorsed nuclear agreement that put restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief, and Washington’s subsequent return of the economic sanctions.

The halt was the latest in a series of “remedial measures” by Iran taken in retaliation for the US non-compliance and violation of its commitments.

Later in February, Iran and the IAEA reached a technical understanding under which Tehran continued to keep the camera footage at its nuclear sites for up to three months in a goodwill gesture in support of diplomacy, waiting to see whether the other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — could manage to bring the US back into full compliance with the deal.

That deadline will come to an end on May 21, while the prospects of reaching an agreement to bring Washington into compliance with the JCPOA look uncertain.

In his Wednesday tweet, Araqchi, however, said that Iran would reverse its counter-measures in no time if the sanctions are lifted.

“We’re serious & determined, ready to do it even tomorrow: once sanctions are verifiably lifted, we’ll return to full implementation of JCPOA,” he said.

Russia rejects hasty conclusion on Vienna talks, says progress made

This comes as high-ranking diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia and the UK have made progress in talks with Iran in Vienna, with cautious optimism expressed from participants in the negotiations.

The Russian preventative to international organizations in Vienna in a tweet on Wednesday rejected any hasty conclusion on the talks, saying the negotiators aim at completing the process as soon as possible.

“Some analysts express doubts that an agreement on the restoration of #JCPOA can be achieved this month. Hasty conclusion. The Vienna talks make progress and the negotiators aim at completing the process as soon is possible. Hopefully by May 21. It’s very difficult but doable,” Mikhail Ulyanov said.

Iran says it is not after protracted talks for the sake of negotiations, noting it seeks verifiable lifting of the sanctions that would allow the country to reap the promised economic benefits of the JCPOA.

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