Iran sticks to its red lines: FM

April 10, 2022 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Hossein Abdollahian said Sunday that Iran is sticking and will continue to stick to its red lines on the talks in Vienna over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

Speaking at a meeting held at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday, Amir Abdollahian said that Iran’s diplomatic apparatus is seeking the removal of U.S. sanctions at the Vienna talks. 

He noted that President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi has instructed the Foreign Ministry to pursue the goal of getting U.S. sanctions lifted at the Vienna talks. 

“We certainly want the sanctions to be lifted, but in a dignified way and with a strong and lasting agreement. However, Mr. Raisi has always emphasized to all cabinet members in meetings that the focus should not be on Vienna, but that all institutions should act to neutralize sanctions and to promote the sustainable development of the economy and trade in the country,” the foreign minister said.

He added, “For several weeks now, it has been necessary to pause the negotiations, because we came very close to a conclusion with the three European countries on technical issues. We faced the crisis and the war in Ukraine at the same time. While the Islamic Republic of Iran has at the highest level expressed its opposition to the war in Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan or any other country, we have also stated our opposition to the imposition of unilateral sanctions.”

Amir Abdollahian further said, “Before my visit to Moscow, I spoke to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister on the phone, and we carried the message of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister to our friends in Russia that they want the war to stop and the talks to continue. Therefore, we do not consider war as a solution to the Ukraine issue, and we consider the solution as purely political, and in this regard, the diplomatic efforts of the diplomatic apparatus are still ongoing. At the same time, we pay attention to the roots of the war in Ukraine and the roots of the provocations of NATO and the United States as the main factor.”

As regards Russia’s position toward the Vienna talks, the Iranian foreign minister said, “The Westerners told us that considering the start of the Ukraine war, the situation is that even if we reach the finish line in the agreement, Russia will not go along with the agreement. During our telephone conversation with Mr. Lavrov and during my visit to Moscow, there were very clear and transparent talks between us, and as people witnessed, Mr. Lavrov stated at a press conference what we had agreed on at the meeting. Our agreement with the Russian side was that if our red lines were fully observed and we reached the point of agreement in the Vienna talks on lifting the sanctions at any time, Russia would not be an obstacle in the way of reaching an agreement. During my visit to China, Mr. Lavrov stated there that as soon as you announce that you are at the end point of the agreement, we will support the agreement.”

Amir Abdollahian and Lavrov met in Tunxi, east China's Anhui Province, while attending a conference on Afghanistan in late March.
 
According to Amir Abdollahian, the American side has presented excessive demands in the last three weeks.

“Although much of the text has been agreed upon, the American side present demands that contradict some of the text. In the field of lifting sanctions, they are sometimes interested in unilaterally raising and imposing new conditions outside the framework of the negotiations that have taken place,” the foreign minister said. 

He added, “Of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran has observed and will observe its red lines, and the Americans are constantly talking about the need for direct negotiations with Iran. We did not see any interest in direct negotiations with the United States, given the surveys we conducted and the view that the Americans have.”

Amir Abdollahian pointed out, “Many times when they insisted on negotiating [directly], we told them that if you are really in good faith, before any agreement, present one or two practical and tangible issues, for example, release some of the assets of the Islamic Republic of Iran that are blocked in foreign banks. We did not demand loans and money from the Americans, [we just told them] let the money of our people be released.”


 

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