Publishe Date: 5:05 PM - 12/29/2013 | Print

Iran: New Sanctions Kill Negotiations

Politics - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator in the talks with the world powers Seyed Abbas Araqchi warned Washington to avoid any new pressure against Tehran, saying new sanctions would kill the talks.

Addressing a large number of Iranian university students in Tehran on Sunday, the Iranian negotiator referred to the attempts made by certain parties in the US to ruin the talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) by intensifying sanctions against Tehran, and warned, “Approval of any bill to impose (fresh) sanctions on Iran will stop the Geneva negotiations.”

Elsewhere, the deputy Iranian foreign minister dismissed some rumors and speculations that Iran and the US had discussed rapprochement in their bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the recent Geneva negotiations between Tehran and the world powers, and stressed, “The negotiations with the US are merely confined to the nuclear issue.”

In relevant remarks in November, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had also underlined that the recent talks between Tehran and Washington in Geneva were merely focused on the nuclear issue and the two sides didn’t discuss other topics.

Zarif said Iran has had no negotiations with the US in any fields other than nuclear issues, and stressed that Iran has never had any discussions with the US over terrorism and human rights.

He said Iran never raised the issue of sanctions imposed by western states because of other issues.

On November 24, Iran and the Group 5+1 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 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 Zarif earlier this month.

Iran and the six world powers resumed their expert talks in Geneva on December 19.

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