Speaking to IRNA on Saturday, the source commented on the reports about a possible interim agreement with Iran in the course of Vienna talks, saying, “As mentioned several times before, plans for an interim agreement have never been on Iran’s agenda, and the Iranian team seeks to achieve a sustainable and reliable agreement.”
The source made it clear that an interim deal remains off the agenda of the Iranian team.
The comments came after NBC News quoted two US officials as saying that Russia has discussed a possible interim agreement with Iran in recent weeks that would involve limited sanctions relief in return for reimposing some restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
It added that the US is aware of Russia’s proposal to Iran.
Iran and the other participants to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have been holding talks in the Austrian capital since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the US into full compliance.
The US left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former president Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on a promise by Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, to rejoin the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own undoing of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.
In response to the US withdrawal, Iran began to reduce its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA in 2019. Tehran maintains that it will reverse its nuclear measures once the US – the main culprit behind the failure of the JCPOA – removes its sanctions and abides by all of its contractual commitments in practice.
The Islamic Republic has also rejected the pessimistic assessment of the talks by the US and the European trio – namely France, Britain, and Germany – as a psychological ploy to win concessions.
Meanwhile, Russia’s lead negotiator in the Vienna talks said Moscow’s "close coordination" with Tehran plays a key role in continuing and completing the negotiations in the Austrian capital, Press TV reported.
In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Mikhail Ulyanov said he held a "very useful" meeting with Iran's chief negotiator to the Vienna talks, Ali Baqeri Kani.
"Close coordination between our two delegations is one of prerequisites of successful continuation and completion of negotiations on restoration of JCPOA and sanctions lifting," the Russian diplomat tweeted.
In an earlier tweet, Ulyanov said Russia rejects “artificial deadlines” set by Western parties after their meeting with the US.
“The Western colleagues, as they do it publicly, underlined the need to finalize negotiations ASAP. Russia shares the sense of urgency but is against artificial deadlines,” Ulyanov wrote.
On January 17, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian once again reaffirmed that Tehran has no intention to waste time or derail the sanctions removal talks in Vienna, criticizing the West, particularly the US, for failing to present any innovative proposals in the negotiations.