Raisi says Iran will not tie economy to Vienna talks

March 8, 2022 - 21:1

TEHRAN – President Ebrahim Raisi discussed the latest developments surrounding Iran’s talks with the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The president again reiterated that his administration will not link the national economy to the fate of the JCPOA.

"[Iran's] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the negotiating team are pursuing the negotiations with diligence, but the administration does not and will not tie any [of its] moves to the talks and the JCPOA," the president told his cabinet team on Sunday.

He went on to say that the JCPOA is not Iran's whole foreign policy, but one of its issues.

Raisi added that the secret of his administration's success over the last six months was that it “vigorously pursued all matters, including issues related to foreign policy, the banking system and oil [sales], and did not make any of them conditional on the JCPOA or a possible agreement in the Vienna talks.”

The United States unilaterally withdrew from the internationally-agreed JCPOA in 2018 and reinstated the sanctions that had been eased under the agreement. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Washington's European partners in the agreement, have been strictly toeing the sanctions line by ceasing trades with Iran.

The Vienna talks between Iran and the other JCPOA parties began in April on the assumption that the U.S., under the Joe Biden administration, is prepared to reverse the so-called maximum pressure approach taken by former president Donald Trump towards Tehran.

Iran has stated that it will not accept anything less than the complete lifting of all U.S. sanctions in a verifiable way. It also wants assurances that Washington would not withdraw from the agreement again.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian stated over the phone with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, that the Western side's haste to achieve a deal through the Vienna talks will not cause Tehran to ignore its red lines.

“We are ready to immediately finalize a good agreement… but the Western side’s rush and haste cannot prevent Iran’s red lines from being observed.”