Officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran will meet representatives from Britain, France, Germany, the European Union (EU), Russia and China tomorrow (November 29) for nuclear talks.
These are being resumed in Vienna after a five-month hiatus.
The Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei has expressly forbidden any direct talks with the US because it had walked out of the agreement.
In Vienna, the American delegation led by Robert Malley sits in another location while the P4+1 and Iran hold talks in a hotel conference room.
In previous rounds of talks from April to June, 2021, diplomats from the West shuttled to the Americans’ venue to communicate the progress of talks.
Iran has already made clear what it wants from these talks.Its aim is two-fold: lifting of all US sanctions and a commitment from Washington to not renege on the deal again.
Can Washington deliver?
While making soothing noises, the Americans are also advancing various excuses.
They describe the nuclear deal as a “non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty.”
Despite Malley’s assurances that “Our intent is to be faithful to the deal if we could get back in,” Iran would need a lot more than that.
It cannot accept vague promises of America’s good behaviour. It has never upheld its promises—ever.
American violations began even before it officially came into existence by violating the treaties signed with Indigenous peoples and perpetrating genocide.
The new Iranian team needs to go into these talks with their eyes wide open.
As the Prophetic saying goes: “A Mumin is not bitten from the same hole (snake) twice.”
The deal was signed in July 2015 and ratified by the UN Security Council through resolution 2231.
In return for accepting stringent restrictions on its nuclear activities including intrusive inspections and dismantling of one of its reactors, Iran was to get sanctions relief and unfreezing of its assets. Yet in May 2018, then US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the deal and reimposed more than 1,500 new sanctions on Iran.
Iranian officials have made clear that the Vienna talks are not about any new discussions of the deal.
That was already settled in July 2015 and signed by all the parties.
The Americans have also raised such other irrelevant issues as Iran’s missile program and its influence in the region.
The Rahbar has made clear that these are non-negotiable.
Iran’s defense capabilities and regional influence are none of America’s business.
It is the malign presence and influence of the US together with its illegitimate ward, Zionist Israel, that are the main sources of instability in the region.
With US defeat in Afghanistan, it has been somewhat chastened but not completely driven out of the region.
Two other points are worth noting.
First, the Europeans have failed to fulfill their part of the bargain by not providing relief to Iran as per the treaty even though, officially they are still part of the deal.
Only China and Russia have held up their commitments.
Second, the vile propaganda in the Western corporate media against Iran violating its treaty obligations needs to be exposed.
Articles 26 and 36 of what is referred to as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) specifically allow Iran to scale back its commitments if the other parties fail to fulfill their obligations.
Despite the US’ unilateral abrogation in May 2018 and the reimposition of sanctions, Tehran waited for a full year before exercising its rights under articles 26 and 36.
Its enhanced enrichment of uranium is according to the accord, not in violation of it.
Given the West’s duplicity, the chances of success at the Vienna talks appear slim.
We can be certain that in the event of failure of talks, it will be blamed on Iran for “not being reasonable.”
For reasonableness, read surrender to Western demands.
That is something Iran will never do.
After all, the Islamic revolution was about breaking the chains of slavery and upholding Iran’s independence and dignity.
These have come with a huge price in life and blood.