News ID: 319707
Published: 0239 GMT January 28, 2022
Tehran’s top negotiator meets EU, Russian representatives

Iran FM sees ‘positive process’ at Vienna talks

Iran FM sees ‘positive process’ at Vienna talks
The Palais Coburg, the venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting, is pictured in the Austrian capital of Vienna on November 29, 2021.

Iran’s foreign minister described as “positive the process” of the ongoing talks on the removal of U.S. sanctions in the Austrian capital Vienna, more than three years after Washington unilaterally left the deal and imposed tough economic restrictions on Tehran’s foreign trade.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a Thursday phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during which they discussed the latest developments surrounding the Vienna talks among other issues, according to Press TV.

Expressing Tehran’s deep distrust of U.S. rulers, Amir-Abdollahian underscored the need for Washington and its European allies to take practical and tangible measures in order to reach a sustainable and reliable agreement.

Guterres welcomed any progress at the talks over nuclear and sanctions issues, saying the UN, with all of its power and capabilities, has supported the reaching of an agreement in Vienna.

In a tweet on the same day, Amir-Abdollahian said U.S. politicians have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted, stressing that Washington’s practical measures constitute the main criterion used by Tehran to judge the statements of the American officials.

“History, experience, and U.S. behavior have shown that American politicians and rulers cannot be trusted,” the Iranian foreign minister wrote.

“For us, the criterion for any judgment will be the practical behavior of the United States. On the issue of sanctions removal, Iran's interests must be fully realized and tangible action must be taken on the ground,” he added.

The top Iranian diplomat's remarks followed media reports denoting that the American officials are seeking direct negotiations with the Iranian delegation over the JCPOA’s fate.

Earlier in the week, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the Vienna talks, saying no direct negotiations have so far been held between Iranian and U.S. delegations.

"The American side sends messages in various ways, calling for some degree of direct negotiations with Iran," the top Iranian diplomat said, noting that Tehran is engaged in talks with the P4+1 group of countries and has "non-paper" contacts with the U.S. through Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief and head of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, and one or two signatories to the deal.

Iran and the remaining participants to the JCPOA have been holding talks in Vienna since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the U.S. into full compliance.

The U.S. 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.

Due to the latest developments, many observers now believe that the talks are advancing at an optimal pace and if all sides act realistically, a final agreement could be achieved within a logical time interval.

Tehran has not allowed the U.S. to attend the negotiations due to its withdrawal from the JCPOA and its failure to remove its anti-Iran sanctions. As a result, the other participants are conducting shuttle diplomacy between the two sides.


Meeting Mora


Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani met Mora to discuss draft texts on guarantees and verification of the removal of the entire U.S. bans, IRNA reported on Thursday.

Baqeri Kani also met with Russia's top negotiator to the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, who later confirmed it in a tweet and said, “The #ViennaTalks are underway. A meeting with the Head of delegation of #Iran Mr. A. Bagheri Kani.”


‘Already at advanced stage’


In a separate tweet on Thursday, Ulyanov responded to allegations made by Bloomberg that he had estimated it would take more time to reach an agreement than he previously thought possible.

“A few important words were missed by Bloomberg. I said; if the #ViennaTalks continue at the current pace… I don’t rule out that the negotiations can be expedited through joint efforts of all participants. The talks are already at an advanced stage," he said.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks between Tehran and the remaining JCPOA parties, namely Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, is focused on the removal of anti-Iran sanctions.




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