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Iran Press TV

Iran urges US to drop 'excessive demands' to facilitate deal in Vienna

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 15 March 2022 4:12 PM

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Iran hopes that the United States will drop its "excessive demands" in the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna so that the negotiating parties can clinch a "good agreement" on reviving the landmark 2015 deal.

"We hope that the American side will give up its excessive demands in the moments close to an agreement so that we can announce [reaching] a good and lasting agreement, which is supported by all parties to the negotiations, in the near future," Amir-Abdollahian said in a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow on Tuesday.

He added that the pause announced in the Vienna talks can pave the ground for the settlement of the outstanding issues and an eventual return of all sides to compliance with their obligations as per the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

He said that no factor can negatively affect the Vienna talks and reaching a "final point."

"What can play a determining role in Vienna is the realistic view of the American side in these last days and weeks of reaching an agreement," Amir-Abdollahian pointed out.

The United States left the multilateral Iran deal in 2018 and began to implement what it called the "maximum pressure" campaign of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, depriving the country of the economic benefits of the agreement, including the removal of sanctions, for which Iran had agreed to put certain caps on its nuclear activities.

In the meantime, the other parties to the deal, in particular France, Britain and Germany, only paid lip service to safeguarding Iran's economic dividends as promised under the JCPOA, prompting Iran - after an entire year of "strategic patience" - to reduce its nuclear obligations in a legal move under the deal.

The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA- Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China- on the assumption that the US, under the administration of President Joe Biden, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy pursued by former president, Donald Trump, against Tehran.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries on Friday announced a pause in the Vienna talks, with Tehran saying that all relevant parties will concentrate on a "successful conclusion" of the diplomatic process.

The Iranian foreign minister further pointed to his talks with Lavrov about the Vienna process and dismissed Western allegations that Moscow could stand in the way of an agreement to revive the JCPOA.

"I would like to declare here that Russia will pose no obstacle to reaching an agreement and there will be no link between the developments in Ukraine and the Vienna negotiations," Amir-Abdollahian said.

He said Russia had been playing a "very positive and constructive" role since the start of the latest round of negotiations in Vienna.

Russia, Amir-Abdollahian added, would continue to stand by Iran until the end of the Vienna process and throw its support behind a final deal, which can be inked if an agreement is reached with the US side on the remaining outstanding issues.

He emphasized the firm determination of Iran, as an independent and strong state, to protect its national interests and principles, adding, "Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an active, independent and influential actor which, in line with its balanced foreign policy, does not seek a satellite country for itself and will not be a satellite country for any side."

The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that no "foreign factor" can prevent Iran's cooperation with Russia or other countries, saying, "This is the wise principle of foreign policy and definite interests of the Iranian people."

Russia seeks swift JCPOA revival, US return to deal: Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister said his country seeks the JCPOA revival as soon as possible, adding that the US must return to the agreement and removal all illegal sanctions.

Lavrov said Moscow has received written guarantees from the US that anti-Russia sanctions would not hinder cooperation within the framework of the Iran deal.

Amir-Abdollahian carries message from Ukraine to Lavrov for ceasefire

Elsewhere in the presser, Amir-Abdollahian said during a Monday phone conversation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked him to convey a message to Russia about Kiev's readiness to continue diplomatic negotiations and focus on a political solution.

The Iranian foreign minister expressed hope that the crisis in Ukraine would come to an end as soon as possible through diplomatic approaches.

He said Iran opposes wars in Afghanistan, Yemen and other countries and does not regard military operation as a solution for the Ukraine conflict either.

Iran understands the root causes of the ongoing crisis between Kiev and Moscow and supports negotiations between the two sides' foreign ministers, which started in the Turkish resort city of Antalya, Amir-Abdollahian added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24. The conflict has provoked a unanimous response from Western countries, which have imposed a long list of sanctions on Moscow.

Russia says it will halt the military operation instantly if Kyiv meets Moscow'\'s list of conditions, including that Ukraine never attempts to join NATO.

War in Ukraine must end: Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister said he received the message from his Iranian counterpart and emphasized that war in Ukraine should end.

Lavrov also noted that Iran and Russia are drawing up a draft agreement, which he described as an "important" document about principles of bilateral cooperation in trade and economic fields as well as on international issues.

The document would increase Tehran-Moscow economic cooperation during the sanctions time by 82 percent, he said, emphasizing that illegal sanctions cannot impede growing relations between the two countries.

President Raeisi's meeting with Putin most important political event: Amir-Abdollahian

Elsewhere, Amir-Abdollahian said the visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi to Moscow and the talks with his Russian counterpart in January was "the most important political event in the recent bilateral relations between the two countries."

The Iranian foreign minister noted that he held "constructive and useful" talks with his Russian counterpart about ways to boost ties.

Lavrov has been invited for a visit to Tehran in the near future for more talks issues of bilateral, regional and international significance.

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