June 30, 2021 – TEHRAN TIMES
TEHRAN – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the United States to remove all sanctions on Iran as agreed under a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2015.
In a report to the UN Security Council, Guterres also urged the United States to “extend the waivers with regard to the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects,” according to a Reuters report.
The report came one day before a meeting of the 15-member UN body on Wednesday to discuss the secretary-general’s biannual report on the implementation of a 2015 resolution that enshrines the nuclear deal between Iran, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.
“I appeal to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions outlined in the plan,” said the UN chief.
He also underlined the need for the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a way to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear deal. “I continue to believe that a full restoration of the Plan remains the best way to ensure that the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran remains exclusively peaceful,” Guterres noted.
“I am encouraged by the recent diplomatic engagements taking place in and around the Joint Commission since April 2021 on the landmark agreement,” he pointed out.
“In recent months, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has documented that the Islamic Republic of Iran has installed new and advanced centrifuges, including types IR-2m and IR-4, for uranium enrichment not foreseen in the Plan; has undertaken uranium enrichment up to 60 percent; and has begun research and development activities for the production of uranium metal for fuel for the Tehran research reactor,” the UN chief stated.
The UN chiefs report came amid painstaking negotiations between Iran and the world powers in Vienna to restore the JCPOA. Diplomats from Iran and the U.S. as well as Europe are preparing for a potentially decisive round of talks this week in Vienna that is expected to result in a consensus to revive the JCPOA. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi, who leads the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, said on Sunday that the Vienna talks have almost reached their end and that the time has come for the negotiating parties to make decisions.
Speaking after a briefing session with lawmakers, Araqchi said, “So far, six rounds of talks have been held with the P4+1, and we are almost close to the final stages. There is a series of issues that have been sufficiently negotiated and it is time for the countries to decide.”
The top nuclear negotiator said Iran has already made tough decisions to remain in the JCPOA and now it’s Washington’s turn to face up to the moment of making tough decisions.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has already made tough decisions. When the United States withdrew from the JCPOA and Iran decided to stay in the JCPOA. It was Iran’s big and difficult decision that led to the preservation of the JCPOA so far. Now it is the turn of the opposing parties, and according to the negotiations we had, they must decide and reach a conclusion on the revival of the JCPOA in order to reach an agreement,” Araghchi told Iranian state media after briefing lawmakers sitting on the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on the Vienna talks on Sunday.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh also noted that Iran did its part in terms of preserving the JCPOA and that it’s now up to the U.S. to make a decision to revive the nuclear deal.
Speaking at his weekly press conference, Khatibzadeh said, “If the JCPOA is alive today, it is because of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and if today there exist such thing as the JCPOA, the implementation of which is being discussed, it is because of the decision that Iran made after the unilateral and illegal withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and the inactions of the European parties.”
He added, “Iran and the Iranian people have played their part in protecting the JCPOA and made the tough decision they had to make that year. Today is the time when the other side should know that it is present in the negotiations in the position of the culprit, and it is the side that has made every effort to destroy the JCPOA.”
Everyone knows that if there is a reason for distrust of the United States, it is the hypocritical and bullying behavior of the United States. What is being discussed in Vienna is how to implement the JCPOA. We are not talking about its origin or its future. We are only talking about the implementation of the JCPOA and the return of the United States to the JCPOA.”
The United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday was aimed to represent the body’s 11th report on implementing UNSCR 2231 about the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian state news IRNA reported.
This is the first in-person meeting of the UNSC after the outbreak of coronavirus.
In 2015, the P5+1 group (the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany) and Iran signed a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. The deal was designed to terminate economic and financial sanctions on Iran in exchange for putting restrictions on the country’s nuclear program. But nearly three years after the implementation of the deal, the former U.S. administration of Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal, imposing far-reaching sanctions on Iran and putting the JCPOA in real danger as Iran, a year after the U.S. withdrawal, started to gradually reduce its nuclear commitments under the deal.
In recent months, Iran accelerated its nuclear activities such as enriching uranium up to 60% purity and installed new, advanced centrifuges the use of which were prohibited under the 2015 nuclear deal. With the coming of the Biden administration, Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA embarked on new negotiations on how to revive the deal.