Iran not surrendered to West's goal of rewriting JCPOA terms

TEHRAN, Dec. 09 (MNA) – A university professor and political analyst said that the West is frustrated because Iran has not surrendered to the West's major goal of rewriting the terms of the JCPOA.

After a five-month hiatus, envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — began on November 29 the seventh round of talks in Vienna to resurrect the JCPOA.

At the talks, the first under President Ebrahim Raeisi, the Iranian delegation presented two detailed draft texts; One on the removal of US sanctions and the other on Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. The five-day intensive negotiations ended on December 3 after the diplomats returned to their capitals for more consultations. 

Iran and the five other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal are set to start a new round of negotiations today, in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan once again in his recent remarks claimed that the ball is in Iran’s court as to whether it wants to show up and demonstrate that it’s going to be serious or not. "The more Iran demonstrates a lack of seriousness at the negotiating table, the more unity there is among the P5+1 and the more they will be exposed as the isolated party in this negotiation."

The claim comes as the United States unilaterally left the 2015 nuclear deal under the former US President Donald Trump in May 2018 and is no longer a member of the nuclear deal and the talks with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that is being held between Iran and P4+1.

Iran has repeatedly asserted that the Iranian delegation is very serious in the negotiations, and the submission of documents shows the country's seriousness to reach an agreement, and now other parties must show their determination.

To shed light on the issue, Mehr News has reached out to Nader Entessar, professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama.

Here is the full text of the interview with him:

The westerners blame Iran for not being serious about reaching an agreement, while Iran says it is ready for a good agreement. How do you assess this? From the viewpoint of the US and its allies, what is a good agreement?

The West is frustrated because so far Iran has not surrendered to the West's major goal of rewriting the terms of the JCPOA. A "good agreement" for the West is one that compels Iran to accept partial, non-guaranteeable sanctions relief in return for Iran's permanent and full guarantees of its obligations under the 2015 nuclear agreement. In addition, the West wants to add non-nuclear demands as a follow-up. This is essentially what the West has always meant by a "win-win" or "good agreement."

Iran insists on the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions. Will the US do so? In fact, do you see any real political will in the US to reach an agreement?

No, the US will not do this. Washington has been very clear on this point. I don't see any desire or political will in the US to reach a sustainable and long-term agreement with Iran. However, Washington has done a good job of using its public relations machinery, including the establishment press and talking heads in "think tank" circles, to portray an image of the "victim" in the ongoing US-Iran imbroglio.

Iran says the text of the 2015 JCPOA should be the cornerstone of the Vienna talks but the other side, in fact, is after a new 2021 JCPOA. How do you assess these excessive demands? 

There are two major issues involved here. First and foremost, the US does not intend to honor its JCPOA obligations. In fact, Washington has never considered the JCPOA as a terminal agreement but as the first step to ratchet up pressure on Iran by expanding the parameters of the nuclear agreement. Secondly, the text of the JCPOA was written in a language that has given the US enough wiggle room to reinterpret its obligations and legally outmaneuver Iran in a more or less constant fashion.

Iran’s new team has asked for some changes in the draft text of the terms during the past 6 rounds of talks reached during Rouhani's presidency, but Europeans disagree. How do you assess Iran’s request from a legal point of view? Is a draft that is not signed legally binding?

There are no legally binding drafts in this matter. The previous Iranian negotiating team and P4+1 drafted memos about issues and points of contention that need to be discussed for a possible final agreement. There is now a new administration in Iran with its own foreign policy agenda. I am not sure what was promised to the Europeans during the past six rounds of negotiations in Vienna, but whatever points negotiated with them and any promises made are certainly not legally binding. At best, they could be considered "talking points" by an outgoing administration and its negotiation team.

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 181582

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