In an interview with the Iranian news outlet Asr-e Iran published Dec. 26, Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Javad Karimi-Ghodousi revealed what he claimed were behind-the-scenes understandings reached at the Baghdad II summit earlier this month in Amman, Jordan. Among those attending the summit were French President Emmanuel Macron and Josep Borrell, European Union High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, both of whom met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his deputy Ali Bagheri, who heads the Iranian negotiating team in the nuclear talks, both of whom also attended the summit.
Amir-Abdollahian said at a press conference following the summit that “an opportunity was created to discuss additional issues connected to the nuclear talks, in a two-hour meeting” together with his deputy Ali Bagheri and European External Action Service (EEAS) deputy secretary general Enrique Mora, who is also coordinator of the nuclear talks in Vienna, and Borrell. Amir-Abdollahian added: “We informed them that if they respect our red lines, we are willing to take the final steps in order to arrive at an agreement.”
According to Karimi-Ghodousi, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United States have agreed in principle to close Iran’s Potential Military Dimensions (PMD) dossier and to guarantee the foreign investments that will be made in Iran after the nuclear agreement is signed, such that if the agreement fails again, these investments will not be harmed. These, he said, are the two main issues that remain unresolved in the nuclear negotiations.
It should be emphasized that the “PMD dossier” is the IAEA investigation of the matter of the particles of enriched uranium found at undeclared facilities in Iran, for which Iran has to date not given a reasonable explanation.
Regarding the United States and Europe, Karimi-Ghodousi said, “They also accept our conditions [in the negotiations].” He added that the Americans had “told us not to announce this officially,” and also assessed that “according to what was said in Jordan, the Europeans and the Americans will return to the JCPOA. Within the next few days, a dialogue between Iran and the 4+1 [countries] will start, and if it is completed, the Americans will participate in the re-signing [of the agreement].”
Below is the translation of Karimi-Ghodousi’s statements in the Asr-e Iran interview:
The U.S. President [Joe Biden] said that the [JCPOA] nuclear agreement is dead. Generally speaking, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is not closing the door to negotiations—not only on the issue of the nuclear agreement, but on every issue that it has, because the logic of the Islamic Republic is the logic of dialogue.
In all areas, we are ready to negotiate with the countries of the world that have official status, excluding, of course, the Zionist regime. The Zionist regime is the only exception. We are willing to negotiate with America in the framework of the nuclear [talks].
From the last meeting in Jordan [on the margins of the Baghdad II summit], it is evident that the door to negotiations on the nuclear agreement is not closed. The government [of Iran] has no intention of leaving the nuclear agreement dossier in the archives, and it intends to continue [the nuclear talks].
The Americans were punished after the unrest [i.e. the anti-government protests in Iran, and] the Europeans were punished [as well]—they thought that this rioting would bring them results [i.e. would pressure the Iranian regime] so that they could bargain in the [nuclear] negotiations.
Overall, two issues remain unresolved in the nuclear negotiations—the rest have already been agreed upon with the Europeans and the Americans. [First,] concluding the PMD [Potential Military Dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activity] issue and the IAEA’s claims regarding this, and [second,] the issue of guaranteeing the foreign investments that will be made in Iran after the agreement, which will be completely fulfilled, and that if the [nuclear] deal fails, they [these investments] will not be [revoked] again. These were the two outstanding issues, and the Europeans and the Americans have almost greenlighted the solutions to these two problems. That is, the IAEA has said that we will resolve and close the dossier. The Americans have also said that they are ensuring guarantees for foreign investments—but they told us not to announce this officially.
The [West’s] “joint war” [the Iranian regime’s term for the anti-regime unrest in the country] was supposed to take place after the deal had [already been signed]—that is, after silencing us on the nuclear issue, they will come back again and use human rights violations as a basis [for their claims against the regime,] and will go in the direction of Nuclear Deal No. 2, [including agreements on Iran’s] missiles and regional [expansion. But] the nuclear deal did not come to pass before the unrest. After the riots, they are empty-handed. That is, they brought to the field everything they had and didn’t have, and they were defeated.
I believe that, according to what was said in Jordan, the Europeans and Americans will return to the nuclear deal. In the coming days, a dialogue between Iran and the 4+1 [countries] will begin, and if it is completed, the Americans will be able to participate and re-sign [the agreement]. [Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s] government wants to revive the nuclear deal, and [Europe and America] also accept our terms.”
This article was first published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
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