Tehran said that the atmosphere of optimism in the Vienna talks on the Iranian nuclear file was due to the desire of all negotiating parties to reach a “reliable and stable” agreement, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that Tel Aviv would not abide by any nuclear agreement with Iran, and would maintain freedom of action.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated – in a press conference – that what is happening in Vienna is “the result of efforts by all the parties present to reach a reliable and stable agreement,” explaining that good progress has been made in the four files being discussed, namely “lifting sanctions.” The nuclear issue, verification of the lifting of sanctions, and guarantees of non-withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.
The spokesman added that “other issues remain important for discussion on nuclear, but we have achieved results on several points, and we will advance further if the other parties have the will,” stressing that Tehran is negotiating “realistically, not optimistically or pessimistically about the negotiation process.”
Iran is engaged in talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement on its nuclear program, with the parties still affiliated with it (France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany). The United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, is indirectly participating in the talks.
In the past days, the statements of members of the negotiating delegations reflected some progress, while emphasizing the persistence of differences between the parties on various issues, and the Russian envoy to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said – in press statements two days ago – that the atmosphere in the talks is positive and practical, and that the talks It is moving forward, albeit not at a fast pace, but it is moving gradually.
The Vienna negotiations began last April, and after being suspended for nearly 5 months due to the Iranian presidential elections starting in June 2021, the negotiations resumed in late November.
During the talks, Tehran stresses the priority of lifting the sanctions that Washington re-imposed on it after its withdrawal from the agreement, and obtaining guarantees that the US withdrawal will not be repeated.
On the other hand, the United States and the European parties focus on the importance of Iran’s return to fully respecting its commitments under the agreement, which it began to retract in 2019, in response to Washington’s withdrawal.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told a committee in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) – today, Monday – that Tel Aviv is not a party to the Iranian nuclear agreement and is not bound by it, and “will not be bound by the outcome of the nuclear talks with Iran, and will continue to maintain freedom of expression.” Full disposition anywhere, anytime without restrictions.
Bennett added, “Iran sends us its opponents and their weapons, we are facing them day and night.”
Israel had called on world powers to maintain a credible military option against Iran, while seeking to reach an agreement.
Some experts question whether Israel alone possesses the military capabilities to stop what it says is an Iranian effort to acquire nuclear weapons, while Iran denies that it is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.