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Iran says IAEA director to visit soon

Iran has presented its case ahead of the nuclear talks.
Director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi.

Two weeks before the world powers and Iran are set to resume the nuclear talks, the United Nations nuclear watchdog will visit Iran “soon,” said Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh. 

Director of the International Atomic Energy Organization Rafael Grossi will also meet with the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Islami, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, according to Khatibzadeh. 

In response to a question about the upcoming Nov. 29 nuclear talks in Vienna, Khatibzadeh said, “Our focus in Vienna will be to remove all of the sanctions that have been applied to our country illegally by the [United States].” 

An article in the administration-run Iran Newspaper presented Iran’s positions ahead of the talks designed to get the United States back into the deal it exited in 2018 and Iran back into full compliance. The title of the article above the fold read “Operation Defeat Sanctions.”

The article began with Iran’s position that when the United States exited the deal and applied international sanctions, Iran had hoped European countries would remain in the deal and ignore secondary US banking sanctions. However, over time Iran saw a number of European companies pull out of the country and take their investments with them, including major firms such as Airbus, Danieli and Total.  

According to the article, Ebrahim Raisi's administration “will not repeat the mistake of pinning its hopes on unrealistic European promises.” Raisi's administration seeks to distance itself from the strategies of the Rouhani administration, which had hoped that when former President Donald Trump exited the nuclear deal Europe would salvage economic trade. Even with the incoming Biden administration, Rouhani’s team was unable to secure a return to the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The article stated that Iranian negotiators have been clear that the objective of the upcoming talks is to “remove sanctions” and make it clear that the United States is the party that violated the original deal. The visits by Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani with European countries is to make this position clear ahead of the talks.  

According to the position of Iran’s new negotiators, the previous approach of “strategic patience” in which Iran would wait for a new US administration “was not able to get the West to respect Iran’s rights.” Therefore, now … the 25 kilograms of enriched uranium at 60% and 210 kilograms at 20% enriched uranium — nuclear advancements that Iran has made since the US exit — “puts the ball in the opposing side’s court.”

The article presented five points ahead of the talks. The first point was that the talks will not be about Iran’s missiles, regional policies or even their nuclear plan. Rather, it will be about getting back into the JCPOA and nothing more. The second point is that the United States will have to pay for damages for leaving the JCPOA. The third point is that the United States must remove all sanctions under the Obama and Trump eras. The fourth point is that the removal of sanctions must be verifiable. The fifth point is that the United States must agree to never leave the JCPOA again.

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