Russia Not Hindering A Good Deal in Vienna: Iranian Spokesman

Russia Not Hindering A Good Deal in Vienna: Iranian Spokesman

Russia has raised its demands in a completely clear and official manner at the JCPOA Joint Commission, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said, noting that Moscow has made it clear that it would not block any good deal in the Vienna talks.

Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed a report by The Wall Street Journal that the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was being threatened by the Russian demands over the sanctions imposed on Moscow after the war in Ukraine.

He said that Russia has proposed its requests quite formally and transparently, and that the subject needs to be discussed by the JCPOA Joint Commission, just like any other issue or demand raised by the other parties.

“The Russian officials have hinted in the private talks and inside the (JCPOA) Joint Commission that they would not prevent any good deal,” Khatibzadeh stated.

Slamming the US as the main party with whom the blame lies for the status quo, the spokesman said Russia and China have displayed the “most constructive and closest” stances in support of Iran in the Vienna talks over the past 11 months.

“Reducing what is happening in Vienna (and linking it) to a single element, namely to a Russian demand, is what the US is after in order to consign its responsibility for the current situation to oblivion. Nobody should forget that the United States is held accountable at present for the current conditions as we are in the state of non-agreement,” the Iranian spokesman added.

He reiterated that as soon as the US makes its political decision, all delegations can return from their capitals to Vienna and conclude an agreement.

The US left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former president Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on a promise by Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, to rejoin the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own undoing of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all sanctions that the United States had imposed on Iran after its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the deal with Iran.