A small group stood outside the Palais Coburg in Vienna shouting for regime change and calling the mullahs ‘terrorists’.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
A small group of Iranian dissidents has begun protesting outside the venue where nuclear talks have resumed in Vienna, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.
A video posted online showed some two dozen people standing on a quiet side street near the Palais Coburg holding Iranian flags and chanting in English slogans like “Regime change in Iran,” with additions such as “terrorists out of Iran,” and “democracy for Iran,” and “freedom for Iran.” A large banner said “Stop negotiate [sic] with the Islamic Terrorist Regime.”
Another consisted of a large picture of Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the former Shah of Iran, a vociferous regime critic who lives in the West, under the Iranian/German heading “Democracy and Freedom for Iran.”
They also set up a poster boards with explanations of what was happening in their homeland, along with a picture gallery of Iranian leaders that called them “terrorists,” with their faces crossed out with large red Xes.
The leader of the group, Atusa Sabagh, told Israel Hayom that they had disturbed the lead Iranian negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who heard every word they shouted.
“He turned in our direction and pointed at us,” she told the Hebrew daily.
Sabagh, who escaped the country five years ago after being arrested, said that her efforts reflect the will of the Iranian people.
Through her Twitter account, she said, “Every day, I’m in contact with hundreds of thousands of people who support us, not the Iranian terrorist regime.”
Sabagh’s group had to go to court to win the right to protest. During the last round of talks, in June, the authorities had banned the demonstrators after Iranian complaints that their noise “disrupted” the talks. According to the Austrian paper Der Standard, in the case, heard two weeks ago, the Viennese court threw out the argument, as it was shown that the traffic on the street was louder than people shouting.
There are contradictory messages coming out regarding the progress of the current round of talks. Kani insisted that no matter what was settled during the first six rounds, everything is still up for negotiation.
“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he told reporters Tuesday. “So all the issues concluded in the previous rounds of talks can be negotiated and it was agreed by all parties to the deal.”
Meanwhile, EU envoy Enrique Mora said Monday evening that the talks were going forward from where they left off in June, with the estimate that 70%-80% of the issues had been resolved by that point.
What remains are some of the thorniest issues, according to an unnamed senior European diplomat speaking to Reuters. This includes the fate of the advanced centrifuges Iran is using to enrich uranium much more quickly and to higher levels than what it is allowed under the 2015 deal.
“The next 48 hours will be quite important to know and to confirm that hopefully we can pick up [at the previous end point] and get into very intensive working mode,” he said. “If they don’t show us that they’re serious this week, then we have a problem.”