On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh held a weekly press conference. In the meeting, Khatibzadeh commented on the latest developments in the meeting, including the Afghan peace process and nuclear talks.
For the Afghan peace process, the Iranian diplomat highlighted the need for the establishment of a government that would include all Afghan groups. Stressing that a peaceful and sustainable solution is only possible through an inclusive government, Khatibzadeh said, “The Taliban does not constitute all Afghanistan, but is part of that country and part of the way out of the crisis.”
Reiterating his country’s willingness to facilitate the talks between the Afghan parties, the Spokesperson said that Tehran is closely following the situation in Afghanistan at the high security and political levels and is holding talks with all Afghan groups.
Following the US and NATO’s withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban has intensified its attacks and seized a considerable extent of land, including strategic crossing points.
Another topic that Spokesperson Khatibzadeh touched upon was the monitoring deal signed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Responding to reporters’ questions asking whether any decision has been made yet about the extension of the agreement, the Iranian diplomat that Tehran has not decided yet on the issue.
The duration of the technical agreement, which was signed with the UN nuclear watchdog body in February, expired on June 24 after a month extension in May. Following the end of the duration of the agreement, the IAEA demanded Iran to respond to the agency’s extension calls several times. Yet, the Iranian authorities rejected the agency’s requests, saying that Tehran has no obligation to respond to the IAEA’s calls.
The reporters also asked whether any date has been determined regarding the deletion of the data which were recorded under the agreement with the IAEA. Khatibzadeh responded that no decision had been made so far on the issue.
Regarding the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranian diplomat said, “Iran has already made its decisions, and now it is the other side’s turn to make up its mind.” Responding to the question about the possibility of Iran’s newly-elected president Raisi participating in the next round of the nuclear talks, and if reaching an agreement remains to the next administration, the Spokesperson noted, “Basically, it is not important under which administration and in what period the agreement is achieved. Even if the deal would be possible right now, we won’t delay the job for a single hour.”
Iran and P5+1 countries have engaged in talks in Vienna to restore the JCPOA since April. The sixth round of the talks was completed last week, two days after hardliner judge Ebrahim Raisi had been elected as Iran’s new president. However, the date on which the next round will start has not been determined yet.