Iran deputy FM discusses Vienna talks with Chinese, Russian counterparts

November 16, 2021 - 21:20

TEHRAN - Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani held talks via video conference on Monday with his Chinese and Russian counterparts Ma Zhaoxu and Sergei Ryabkov on the upcoming talks in Vienna aimed at removing sanctions against Tehran.

During the video call, the Iranian deputy foreign minister referred to the ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation, and the People's Republic of China and the alignment of the three countries' positions on different international issues, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said. 

Bagheri Kani described the meeting as “fruitful” and said it was intended to strengthen convergence among Iran, Russia, and China ahead of the Vienna talks scheduled to be resumed on November 29.

“Convened a fruitful virtual meeting with Chinese and Russian partners; alignment of Iran, China, and Russia in combating unilateralism & strengthening our convergence in future talks were emphasized. It was reiterated that U.S. should remove all unlawful sanctions,” Bagheri Kani said on Twitter. 

During the Monday meeting, Bagheri stressed the principled stance by the three countries in promoting multilateralism and countering unilateralism. He stated that the oppressive U.S. sanctions against Iran are the cost of countering unilateralism.

Bagheri said it is necessary that all sanctions contrary to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal) be lifted and actions contrary to Resolution 2231 be reversed in a verifiable manner and in line with Iran's economic benefits from normalization of its economic and trade relations. He described this as a necessary condition for the success of the forthcoming negotiations.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister referred to the recent consultations in France, Germany, Britain, and Spain on the forthcoming talks, saying the effective removal of illegal U.S. sanctions is a key necessity and a high priority for the forthcoming talks.

In the video call, the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and China emphasized the need for continued consultations and coordination among the three countries on different issues. They said the U.S. unilateral move to violate the agreement and re-impose sanctions against Iran is the main cause of the current problems in implementing the agreement between Iran and the P5+1.

The meeting came on the heels of a tour of European countries by Bagheri Kani during which he focused on the Vienna talks and the way the Europeans should act in order to bring the talks to a swift conclusion. 

Iran’s chief negotiator had toured a number of European countries in a bid to set the stage for what Iranian officials called “result-oriented” talks whose success would only be measured with their effectiveness in removing the U.S. sanctions on Iran. 

The deputy foreign minister of Iran met with his counterparts in France, Germany, and the UK ahead of the seventh round of the Vienna talks. 

Bagheri Kani said he held serious discussions with his European interlocutors. “During visit to France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, I had serious & constructive discussions on bilateral, regional & int’l issues incl. upcoming negotiations. Also has several interviews with media,” he said on Twitter.

He added, “Effective removal of unlawful sanctions & importance of assurances on non-repetition was emphasized.”

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, also praised the tour, describing it as successful. 

“These days, Dr. Bagheri is engaged in successful talks in Europe. At the negotiating table in Vienna, we are ready to deliver a good agreement. The return of all parties to their commitments is an important and leading principle,” the foreign minister tweeted. 

Prior to Bagheri Kani’s visit, Amir Abdollahian held telephone conversations with the foreign ministers of the countries participating in the Vienna talks, including the European trio of France, Germany, and the UK.

The foreign ministers of the three European countries – collectively known as the E3 – pressed Iran on resuming the Vienna talks where they ended on June 20 when the sixth round was concluded under former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 

Undaunted by the Europeans’ pressure, the Iranian foreign minister straightforwardly announced to his European interlocutors that the Vienna talks would resume in a new spirit. 

“The Vienna talks’ success is contingent on the removal of all sanctions, the return of all sides to their obligations, giving necessary assurances about the implementation of all talks’ results, and verification of actions by the other sides,” Amir Abdollahian told his British counterpart Liz Truss.

In his conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Iranian foreign minister said, “Iran wants a good agreement, but it has requirements, including the other sides fully complying with their commitments and the effective lifting of sanctions.”

Furthermore, Amir Abdollahian appeared underlining the importance of Iran’s missile program. “Iran, like any other country, is entitled to have a defense program as a sovereign right,” he said, adding, “Tehran will move full steam ahead to increase its defense power without paying attention to the United States’ unconstructive sanctions policy.”

In his talks with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Amir Abdollahian also said, “On the path to the talks and in media terms, using a language of force and threats is not helpful and the Islamic Republic of Iran will not give in to unfounded propaganda. Any inaccurate comment, which does not comply with the facts, can jeopardize ongoing efforts.”

The Iranian foreign minister reiterated Iran’s position again on Instagram. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is entering the talks with a pragmatic and result-oriented approach and it is determined to reach a good deal, but this entails effective and verifiable removal of sanctions and the return of all sides to full compliance with their commitments,” he said.

Hinting at Iran’s new approach, Amir Abdollahian pointed out that “Iran does not intend to remain stuck in the stalemate of previous talks, as we already have access to those negotiations.”

The next round of talks is planned to be held by end of November after a five-month lull in the Vienna talks. The sixth and last round was held on June 20 with no significant progress made. 

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