(Persia Digest) - Iranian FM spokesman Abbas Mousavi deemed the Sunday JCPOA meeting in Vienna ‘constructive’, saying diplomatic efforts will continue on all sides to save the nuclear deal.
“Diplomatic efforts will continue to save the JCPOA, which is important both to us and the remaining signatories to the agreement,” the foreign ministry spokesman said during his weekly press conference on Monday.
Mehr News reports that the presser took place a day after Iran and the remaining signatories to the nuclear agreement gathered in Vienna to discuss ways to preserve the JCPOA following the US’ unilateral withdrawal and Iran’s dissatisfaction with lack of any practical measures by the other sides to ensure the country’s economic interests in the face of US sanctions.
Mousavi went on add that at the Sunday meeting: “The European side objected to Iran’s new approach to reduce commitments, and the Iranian side voiced its strong objection to Europe’s lack of practical measures, as well their detainment of some Iranians in Europe and handing them over to the US.”
“The Vienna meeting was constructive and moving forward, and discussions were very frank and decisive,” he said.
“If these efforts fail to achieve results, Iran will take the next step” to reduce commitments to the JCPOA, warned Mousavi.
"Iran's measures to reduce commitments are serious, and if the situation continues as it is, we will take our third step, which is much firmer than the previous two," he added.
A year after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions, as well as lack of any practical measures from the other signatories to the agreement for securing Iran's economic interests, Tehran announced in May 2019 that it would reduce its commitments to the deal in various steps. The country highlights that all these reductions are according to paragraphs 26 and 36 of the deal and will be reversible when the E3 begin to fully comply with their own commitments under the JCPOA.
About the possibility of talks between Iran and the US, Mousavi said "there is an article in the JCPOA which obliges Iran’s parliament to ratify the Additional Protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2023 in exchange for the US Congress to lift all of its unlawful sanctions on Iran...FM Zarif proposed that if US is really after negotiations, it could focus on carrying out these measures in 2019 instead of 2023. This is a doable measure. But as predicted, the US opposed the proposal. We knew from the start that they are not after any talks that would lead to right conclusions."
Mousavi then maintained that a ministerial meeting on the JCPOA with the 4+1 countries will take place after preparations are done and the sides reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said after the JCPOA meeting on Sunday that Moscow would not like to delay a ministerial meeting on JCPOA, but “it is too early to speak about a date.”
The situation around the Iran-operated Grace 1 tanker that had been detained by the UK in the Strait of Gibraltar was also discussed at Sunday’s meeting in Vienna, said Mousavi, adding "it is unacceptable to us that a European country would seize our oil on the US' order. We consider this move as a violation of the JCPOA."
Asked about Iran’s position toward the recent remarks by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to UN that the Arab Kingdom seeks ‘diplomatic interactions’ with Iran, Mousavi said that “we welcome any effort aimed at bringing Muslim countries closer to one other, because we have common enemies.”
“We consider this approach by Saudi Arabia as a positive signal, and our reaction to any positive signal will be positive,” he added.
About the change in the UAE’s behavior in the Middle East, Mousavi said Iran deems it a positive step which can contribute to stability and security in the region and de-escalate the current tensions, including in Yemen.
“We will monitor these steps closely and will contribute to them as far as we can,” he said.