Iran has set the scene for a “good and immediate” deal, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said ahead of Monday’s talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear accord, known as the JCPOA.
Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani arrived in the Austrian capital on Saturday for the seventh round of negotiations with the remaining parties to the JCPOA – Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China – to bring the United States back to compliance three years after its unilateral withdrawal that saw former US president Doanld Trump reimposing and reinforcing tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
“We have made all necessary arrangements for a good and immediate agreement if the opposing parties return to their full commitments,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a video message late on Friday.
The top diplomat noted that Iran has already made it clear what its demands are.
“The rights and interests of the Iranian nation must be secured at the negotiating table,” he said, repeating Iran’s key demand that the Vienna talks must result in the removal of all US sanctions on Iran.
Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Iran’s “hands will not be tied” and that the country has “other options” but it has decided to “start with the option of talks in Vienna”.
“We are serious at talks and serious in achieving a deal.”
He expressed hope for “Westerners’ seriousness” in the course of the Vienna talks.
Earlier on Friday, Amir-Abdollahian told Joseph Borrell, the European Union foreign policy chief, on the phone that Iran seeks the lifting of all sanctions in a verifiable process.
He also urged the West to enter the Vienna talks with a “novel and constructive approach”.
Borrell, who coordinates the talks, said a return by all sides to the original deal is possible.
He said the only way to removal of the sanctions is the revival of the JCPOA.
US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said Friday that the administration of President Joe Biden is ready to return to the JCPOA and scrap all sanctions that breach the deal.
Russia raps US
Russia on Friday chided the US for threatening a diplomatic escalation with Iran at the UN nuclear watchdog next month unless it improves cooperation with the agency, saying it risked harming the Vienna talks.
The United States threatened on Thursday to confront Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency if it does not let the IAEA reinstall cameras at a workshop after an attack in June.
"I believe that demonstrates that our American counterparts lose patience but I believe all of us need to control our emotions," Russia's Ambassador to the IAEA Mikhail Ulyanov told a news conference with his Chinese counterpart.
"I don't welcome this particular statement of the US delegation (at the IAEA). It's not helpful," said Ulyanov who also leads the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks.
"The US did not negotiate with the Iranians for a very long time and forgot that Iranians don't do anything under pressure. If they are under pressure, they resist," Ulyanov said, apparently referring to the fact that US and Iranian envoys are not meeting directly in Vienna.