Iran FM underlines red lines in Vienna talks

May 11, 2022 - 20:41

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has said that Iran still pursues the path of negotiations but the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran should be done in line with Iran’s red lines. 

“Both paths of neutralizing sanctions and lifting them are being pursued,” Amir Abdollahian said on Twitter. 

He also pointed to new economic reforms the Raisi administration has introduced in recent days regarding the elimination of subsidies for a number of basic goods. The new measures have been hailed by Iranian officials as “economic surgery” intended to address shortcomings in allocating subsidies and bring about more economic equity. 

“Immunizing the country through the path of economic development and the equitable distribution system for subsidy allocation is the main strategy,” Amir Abdollahian said.

The foreign minister appeared to be viewing subsidy reforms in parallel with Iran’s efforts to make a strong deal in Vienna. 

“The talks to lift sanctions are being pursued through sticking to Iran’s red lines for reaching a good, strong and lasting agreement,” Amir Abdollahian noted. 

The tweet comes as the European Union’s coordinator of the Vienna talks, Enrique Mora, is in Tehran for talks over how to resume the stalled talks. In Tehran, Mora met with Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani. 

“Travelling again to Tehran for meetings with Bagheri Kani and other officials on the Vienna talks and other issues. Work on closing the remaining gaps of this negotiation continues,” Mora said on Twitter before heading to Tehran. 

Mora’s visit comes as the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, is pushing for resuming the Vienna talks over reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as soon as possible.
He said the current stalemate cannot continue. “We cannot continue like this forever,” Borrell said. 

In a bid to get the talks going again, the EU foreign policy chief said he was dispatching Mora to Tehran in what he described as a “last bullet” push. In remarks to the Financial Times, Borrell said he is pushing for a “middle way” on the U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, an Iranian official told Al Jazeera that more than 90% of the nuclear issues were verbally agreed upon, but that did not turn into a written agreement.

“Executive guarantees are the most important outstanding differences with Washington in the nuclear negotiation,” the official said, noting, “There are 6 issues that form the core of the main differences with America in the nuclear negotiations.”

The official said achieving agreement in the Vienna nuclear negotiations depends on America's seriousness and goodwill.

In the last round of the Vienna talks which was concluded nearly two months ago, Iran demanded that the United States remove the IRGC from its terrorist list, among other things. The U.S. refused the Iranian demands and the talks ground to a halt.

Borrell said the EU is going to strive for a middle ground on the IRGC designation. Borrell is considering a scenario whereby the designation on the guards is lifted, but kept in place on other parts of the organization, according to the Financial Times.


 

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