Kani: US failed to use Iran riots as leverage in JCPOA revival
Ali Bagheri Kani, Iranian chief negotiator for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) revival, discusses several topics, including the Saudi-Iranian talks.
Ali Bagheri Kani, Iranian chief negotiator for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) revival, in an interview for Al Manar stressed that the West has failed to implement the most recent events in Iran as leverage in the talks aimed at the revival of the JCPOA.
Kani highlighted that “regarding the developments and events inside Iran, [the Western states] may have made a miscalculation, but when they faced the realities, they found themselves empty-handed and had nothing to criticize at the negotiation table.”
Indirect talks continue
There is no doubt, Kani explained to Al Manar anchor, that those involved in the negotiations with Tehran "plot to use various tools against the Islamic Republic," however, he stressed that there is no indication that they "can exploit the recent developments in Iran" as he further noted that even if they try, they "certainly" would not "be able to do so."
The chief negotiator also stated that the indirect exchange of messages, though at a much slower pace, continues to exist as he explained that through third parties, both European and non-European, "We had the exchange of messages and it still exists.”
Kani, moreover, reminded the viewers via Al Manar, that “the Islamic Republic has declared that it sees no obstacles to finalize the agreement even in the short term, within a framework that observes its red lines and interests.”
Read more: West using alleged Iran drone delivery excuse to halt JCPOA: Russia
JCPOA revival story so far
Earlier on Wednesday, Kani also spoke to Al Mayadeen and confirmed that there are ongoing communications between Iran and the EU about the Vienna talks.
Advisor to the Iranian negotiating delegation in the nuclear talks, Seyed Marandi, discusses the backstage negotiations in the nuclear talks and the reasons why the #US backed down from the deal.#Iran #JCPOA @s_m_marandi pic.twitter.com/ehftBP48bb— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) December 19, 2022
The original JCPOA was signed in 2015 by China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the UK, and the US, as well as the European Union. The US unilaterally withdrew in 2018 under the Trump administration, causing Iran to suspend the deal.
On-off talks to revive the JCPOA started in April last year, but the indirect talks between the US and Iran have stalled for several months with Iran facing Western-led riots.
Since the beginning of talks on reviving the nuclear agreement, Tehran has been calling for guarantees that the US will not withdraw from the agreement, lifting unlawful sanctions on Iran, and closing the file of political allegations made by the IAEA.
Read more: UK reconsidering its stance on Iran nuclear deal: Reports
Bringing Tehran and Riyadh closer
On the topic of Saudi-Iranian talks, Kani explained on Al Manar that “it is natural that in order to get the views of Tehran and Riyadh closer, the two sides need consultation, dialogue, and time.”
Earlier on Al Mayadeen, Kani also noted that Saudi Arabia and Iran have both expressed mutual willingness to go back to dialogue and the importance of these dialogues and was quoted as saying, "Both sides are currently mulling the necessary arrangements for this issue."
It is noteworthy that diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia grew strained following the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr in January 2016. Sheikh Al-Nimr was a vocal critic of the Saudi government. The Sheikh raised his voice against corruption and political injustice inflicted on marginalized groups that constitute minorities in different regions of the Kingdom, notably Al-Qatif.
The Saudi authorities arrested him in 2011 for participating in protests in the Eastern Province calling for political reform. They executed Al-Nimr along with 46 other people, under the pretext of "fighting terror" just to oppress dissidents and opponents. The two ended up holding talks in 2022, which were put on hold but are being reconsidered.
The 6-month negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties have been suspended by the latter, due to the change of government in the mediator-country Iraq.
Israeli mistakes in anti-Iran plots
When asked by Al Manar about possible Israeli threats to Iran, Kani stressed that such plots are not new, "but experience has shown that the Zionists make strategic mistakes."
What this meant, Kani said, was that "the costs they pay in the confrontation" are assuredly higher than "what they think they can achieve.”
However, Kani reaffirmed the long-standing Iranian position that if Iran is attacked, the source of the attack will most definitely become an Iranian target in itself.
Kani then went further and said, “The Zionist regime will never cause concern for the Islamic Republic, and the leaders of this regime know very well that if they dream of attacking Iran, they must be sure that they will not wake up from that dream.”