Iran says GCC trying to derail nuclear talks in Vienna

Vienna talks continue with expert working groups working on measures that need to be taken to full compliance with the JCPOA.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews Iran's new nuclear achievements during Iran's National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran [Iranian Presidency Office/WANA/Reuters]

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s foreign ministry has condemned a request by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to include its demands in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, accusing them of trying to derail the continuing talks in Vienna.

Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh denounced the “irresponsible and immature” statement earlier this week by the GCC that said the talks must address concerns over Tehran’s enrichment programme in addition to the participation of the regional bloc in the talks.

“Their goal in bringing up such statements is to not ask for participation but to disrupt the process of technical talks in Vienna,” said Khatibzadeh.

GCC leaders “must know that Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and all its nuclear activities are under the organisation’s monitoring programmes, and it is obvious that their development is in line with Iran’s legitimate rights, based on its national interests, and to account for its peaceful needs”, he added.

The US unilaterally withdrew from the landmark accord in 2018 and imposed a wave of sanctions on Iran that are yet to be lifted.

Talks are continuing in Vienna with expert working groups still working on measures that need to be taken by the US and Iran to return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The talks in the Austrian capital are slated to continue on Saturday after lead negotiators held several bilateral and multilateral talks since Wednesday in the second round of in-person meetings to restore the deal.

Following an attack on its main nuclear facilities in Natanz last week, Iran started enriching uranium to 60 percent purity, its highest.

Iran says it will use it to produce molybdenum to manufacture radiopharmaceuticals.

In his statement, the foreign ministry spokesman said Arab leaders should direct their concerns towards the US, which violated the deal, and Israel’s “military and illegal nuclear activities”.

Source: Al Jazeera