Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Friday that Iran is ready for negotiations that would lead to ‘tangible’ results.
“Negotiations are acceptable for Iran that have tangible and practical results and secure its people’s rights and interests,” Amir-Abdollahian told the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a phone call, in response to calls for the resumption of talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Iran and the remaining signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have already held six rounds of talks in Vienna, which began after the administration of US President Joe Biden voiced willingness to rejoin the nuclear agreement, three years after former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the deal and reinstated draconian sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Negotiators from Iran, France, Britain, Germany, Russian and China as well as the EU took a break from the talks after Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi emerged victorious in Iran’s June presidential election, waiting for Iran’s democratic transition to take place in order for them to be able to continue the talks, as disagreements remained unresolved on key issues.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that in any talks Iran needs to see “actual action” from other JCPOA members in accordance with their obligations under the deal.
Borrell pointed to the EU’s role as the coordinator of the Vienna talks and voiced the bloc’s hope for Tehran to announce its preferred date for the next Vienna meeting.
His spokesman on Thursday said the EU looks forward to continuing negotiations in Austria’s capital.
“We look forward to continuing the crucial negotiations about bringing the JCPOA back on track and back to full delivery,” Peter Stano told a press briefing.
“We, of course, took note of the nomination process and the approval process that was completed yesterday in the Parliament,” Stano said.
“I can only say that we, as the European Union, are ready to engage with the new government in line with the EU’s policy towards Iran,” he remarked.
Stano added that Amir-Abdollahian, who won the Iranian Parliament’s vote of confidence on Wednesday to become foreign minister, was not new to the bloc, as he had already made contacts with EU officials.
Amir-Abdollahian, 57, was deputy foreign minister for Arab and North African affairs when Ali Akbar Salehi was foreign minister in 2013. He also held the post in the first three years of the tenure of former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
During the parliamentary discussion on his foreign policy outlook, Amir-Abdollahian said he would not tie the fate of the country to the JCPOA, and, instead, would focus his attention on neutralizing the sanctions.
At the same time, Amir-Abdollahian said the new Iranian government would never leave a “logical negotiating table”.
He also affirmed that Iran’s foreign policy would prioritize relations with neighbors and Asian countries under the new administration.
Amir-Abdollahian also held a telephone conversation with talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday during which the two discussed the resumption of the Vienna talks.
Lavrov told Amir-Abdollahian that the negotiations should restart as soon as possible, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Iranian side perceived this signal with due seriousness,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement read, according to Reuters.
The Iranian and Russian foreign ministers also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, and stressed that Tehran and Moscow have similar views on developments in the war-stricken country, Press TV wrote.
Amir-Abdollahian and Lavrov called for a peaceful dialogue among Afghan political factions, and the formation of an inclusive government as the only way to end the violence in Afghanistan.
They stated that Russia and Iran will support a government which is formed following peaceful talks in Afghanistan.
The Iranian and Russian foreign ministers also held talks on the need for close coordination within the framework of the Astana talks on resolving the Syrian issue.
They also discussed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).