Iran needs to make decision on Vienna talks

TEHRAN, Apr. 19 (MNA) – US State Department spokesman Ned Price said if Iran wants sanctions-lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they'll need to address concerns of the US that go beyond the JCPOA.

The US State Department spokesman in his daily press conference on Tuesday morning reacted to remarks by his Iranian counterpart Saeed Khatibzadeh that the United States is behind the holdup in coming to a revival of the JCPOA, re-entry of the United States into the JCPOA.

"We have said this consistently since the beginning: We are prepared to return – we are prepared for a full return to – excuse me, we are prepared for a return to full JCPOA implementation. We are also prepared for broader diplomatic efforts to resolve issues outside of the JCPOA and this specific nuclear file," he said. "Deputy Secretary-General Mora of the EU’s External Action Service continues to convey messages and is working to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion."

Ned Price went on to say, "We’re not going to negotiate in public, but what we can say is that if Iran wants sanctions-lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they’ll need to address concerns of ours that go beyond the JCPOA."

"If they do not want to use these talks to resolve other bilateral issues, then we are confident we can very quickly reach an understanding on the JCPOA and begin to reimplement the deal itself," he said while trying to tie the issue of lifting Iran sanctions to non-JCPOA issues. 

The spokesman once again dropped the ball in Iran’s court, saying, "It is Iran that needs to make this decision. Any party, everyone who has been directly engaged in these talks knows which side has put constructive proposals on the table, knows which side has negotiated and engaged in good faith, and knows which side has not."

Answering a question about the atmosphere of the talks, he said, "I don’t think it’s helpful for us to characterize the environment of the talks. There is really only one element that matters, and that is whether or not we’re able to achieve a mutual return to compliance, whether we’re able to get across the finish line or not. At this point, it is unclear to us whether we will be able to get there. We’ve spoken about the significant progress that had been achieved in recent weeks. Obviously, we’ve been in a different position now for several weeks."

Price once again claimed by suggesting alternative ways for the United States in case of not reaching an agreement, "That is why we’re preparing equally for scenarios in which there is a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA and scenarios in which there is not a mutual return to compliance for the JCPOA. We would greatly prefer the former: to have the JCPOA and the verifiable, the permanent limits that it would again impose on Iran’s nuclear program. Whether we are able to get there or not, that is a question for Iran."

Answering a question about the Iranian president’s comment on the country's National Day of Army, Price claimed, "Well, Iran we know is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Its support for terrorism threatens international security and our partners throughout the region and elsewhere. Of course, that includes Israel. This administration’s commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct. We have demonstrated that in a number of ways and in cooperation with our allies and regional partners including Israel. We will use every appropriate tool to confront the IRGC’s destabilizing role in the region including working closely with our partners in Israel."

Speaking in the ceremony of the National Day of the Army on Monday morning, President Raeisi said that the Iranian Armed Forces enjoy many capabilities and are ready to face any enemy.

He warned the Zionist regime over its latest moves in the region, saying that the slightest movement of the enemy is not hidden from Iran's armed forces.

If they [Zionists] make the slightest move against Iran, the center of Israel would be the destination for Iran’s armed forces, he added, warning the Zionist regime about the power and authority of the country's armed forces. "The power of our armed forces will not leave you at rest."

MNA/FNA14010130000081

News Code 185867

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