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Iran awaits details of Russian demands on reviving nuke deal


TEHRAN: Iran has said that it’s awaiting further “details” on Russia’s demands for US guarantees that could potentially delay reaching an agreement in talks aiming to restore Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

But the Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian stressed that sanctions should not overshadow Iran’s ties with no-world countries including Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday that Moscow wants written guarantees from Washington that Western sanctions imposed on it over the Ukraine conflict will not affect its economic and military cooperation with Tehran, ahead of any conclusion of a revived Iran nuclear deal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday dismissed these demands as “irrelevant”. Sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine “have nothing to do with the Iran nuclear deal”, he said on the CBS talk show “Face the Nation.”

Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday “we have also seen and heard Mr. Lavrov’s remarks in the media.”

“We are waiting to hear the details of that through diplomatic channels,” he added, during his weekly news conference.

“Iran’s peaceful nuclear cooperation should not be affected or restricted by any sanctions, including Iran’s peaceful nuclear cooperation with Russia, China, and other countries,” he said.

Russia, which was slapped with wide-ranging economic sanctions by the US and the EU following its invasion of Ukraine, is a party to ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, along with Britain, China, France, and Germany. 

The United States is participating indirectly.

The 2015 agreement gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, but the US unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump who reimposed heavy economic sanctions on Tehran.

That prompted Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

The Vienna talks aim to return the US to the nuclear deal and lift sanctions on Iran, while Tehran would in turn return to full compliance with its commitments.

As with the original agreement, Moscow is expected to play a key role in the implementation of any fresh deal with Tehran, for example by receiving shipments of enriched uranium from Iran.

“Russia’s approach so far has been a constructive one in order to reach a collective agreement in Vienna,” Khatibzadeh stressed.

In a phone conversation, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday reviewed the process of nuclear talks in Vienna and a number of other major international topics like the situation in Ukraine during their conversation which mainly focused on issues of mutual talks including bilateral relations. 

They also discussed the recent visit of the Managing Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi to Iran and expressed that the nuclear watchdog organization is now on the right track of technical cooperation with Iran.

They believed good agreements in the field had also been concluded.

Amirabdollahian reiterated Iran’s determination to reach a good and strong agreement in Vienna and said the settlement of the remaining issues need the strong political will of the western participants in the talks.

Stressing the need for the effective removal of sanctions, he said reaching an agreement in Vienna could pave the way for Iran to develop a variety of relations with other world countries.

Underlining that Iran is against both wars and sanctions, Amirabdollahian said it is a clear fact that Iran’s cooperation with not-world countries including Russia should be affected by sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Minister for his part emphasized the importance of Tehran-Moscow comprehensive cooperation, especially in the economic and commercial fields.

He also elaborated on Moscow’s views regarding the process of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiations in Vienna and voiced Russia’s support for Iran’s rightful demands.

Lavrov further criticized the sanctions imposed on his country and stressed the continuation of Iran-Russia’s broad ties despite sanctions.

The Iranian and Russian foreign ministers also exchanged views on other regional and international developments, including the Astana talks on Syria and the Antalya Conference in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Parliament known as Majlis obliged the Iranian government on Monday to set out a fifty-year comprehensive roadmap for the country’s nuclear development.

The lawmakers obligated the government to set out the roadmap document by means of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) by the end of the last Iranian calendar year (March 2023).  

The document has to cover nuclear medicine, nuclear agriculture, and all other nuclear-related areas. 


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