Publishe Date: 8:54 PM - 12/18/2013 | Print

Negotiator Cautions White House Not to Blame Iran for Washington’s Differences with Congress

Politics - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi underlined that the US government should not blame Iran for the differences it has with the Congress and its regional allies.

“The US government has problems with the Congress and its friends in the region and it should appease them, but it does not have the right resolve its problems at Iran’s cost,” Araqchi wrote on his twitter page.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister pointed to his meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels on Tuesday, and said, “Mrs. Ashton gave me assurances, and as a result the expert and technical negotiations will resume soon, but surely the talks cannot continue without good will.”

During the meeting, Araqchi and Ashton discussed the latest developments in the implementation of the contents of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement) signed by Iran and the world powers as well as the US new sanctions against Tehran which observers believe has made the Geneva deal too fragile.

The US Treasury Department on Thursday added names of 19 individuals and Iranian and foreign companies to the sanction list.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) had an expert meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 9. The negotiations were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday night.

Speaking to reporters after the phone conversation between the two top diplomats, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said, “The phone call was initiated by the US secretary of state.”

Afkham, who was speaking to reporters during a weekly press conference on Tuesday, told reporters that during the phone talk "he (Kerry) was informed of Iran’s dissatisfaction with the trend of the experts' plan and the details of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement)”.

On Sunday, Zarif deplored Washington's recent move, and said Tehran would show a well-assessed and goal-oriented reaction to any measure adopted by the world powers in violation of the deal.

“The Americans have taken improper measures in the last few days and we have given the appropriate response to them after considering all aspects of the issue,” Zarif said.

He stressed that Tehran is seriously pursuing the Geneva negotiations with the G5+1, “and we will, of course, show proper, well-assessed, targeted and smart reaction to any improper and unconstructive measure (of the opposite side even if it doesn’t violate the Geneva agreement)”.
 

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