Sanctions Removal Prerequisite to Any Agreement

Negotiations over the nuclear deal should not be expected to resolve all problems, Raisi said
Sanctions Removal Prerequisite to Any Agreement
Sanctions Removal Prerequisite to Any Agreement

President Ebrahim Raisi said there will be space for any agreement on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal if the other negotiating parties are ready to remove the cruel sanctions against the Iranian nation. 
He, however, noted that negotiations over the nuclear deal should not be expected to resolve all problems. 
“We pursue the negotiations, but negotiations are not everything,” he said in a televised interview on Tuesday, reported.  
Parties to the nuclear deal have been holding talks in the Austrian capital Vienna since April to work out how the United States and Iran can return to their commitments under the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
Washington quit the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions that prompted Tehran to react by rolling back on its nuclear commitments. 
In Vienna, Tehran demands an effective and verifiable lifting of sanctions before reversing its nuclear steps. It also wants assurances that such violation would not be repeated by the US in future. 
Raisi adopted a strict stance since taking office, maintaining that although his administration would engage in talks as a diplomatic means of resolving differences, it would not tie the fate of the country to these negotiations.  
His negotiating team, who took over halfway through the talks, put forward proposals that initially slowed down the process, but were later reportedly incorporated into previous drafts. 
Raisi said his administration is active on two scenes: neutralization and removal of sanctions. 
“One way to nullify the sanctions is expanding relations with neighbors,” he said. 
The president added that his government’s foreign policy approach is to foster and develop relations with all countries, depending on their willingness. 
“We will interact with countries if they seek to do so, but if they want to stand against us, we will resist.” 



Direct Dialogue

Asked about direct contact with the US delegation in Vienna, Raisi said it has not happened until now, despite frequent calls by American officials. 
Iran refuses to talks with the US directly and their negotiations in Vienna have been through unofficial non-paper contact, as well as the European Union coordinator of the talks, Enrique Mora, and a few JCPOA member states.  
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, however, said recently that Tehran would not disregard this option if at some stage reaching a good agreement with firm guarantees requires some level of direct dialogue with Americans. 
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a regular press briefing on Tuesday that Washington has been open to sitting down directly with its allies and partners and the Iranians since the start of talks in April.
Asked if such a meeting would be organized, he said it is up to the Iranians to make good on that statement. 
“We do believe that it would be more productive to engage directly with Iran when it comes to JCPOA, when it comes to other issues. It would also enable more efficient communication,” he said. 
He said this needed especially at this moment, when little time is left in an effort to try and salvage or to effect a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA.
Western officials have been warning about a loss of time to restore the deal, given Iran’s continuing nuclear advancements. 
“Right now, we are still seeking to achieve a mutual return to compliance, but we’re weighing all options and weighing alternatives,” Price said. 
Iran has rejected any deadline, saying it will negotiate for as long as needed to uphold the rights of the nation. 

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