Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said that lifting sanctions against Iran would be the only act by the United States that would reveal Pentagon’s seriousness in the upcoming talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.

In an interview by a state channel, the president said that Iran was serious and committed to returning to Vienna to resume the constructive talks aimed at restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Raisi said, “For the other side, a readiness to lift sanctions can be a sign for its seriousness.”

Raisi also said that when the European Union’s top representative to the Vienna talks Enrique Mora traveled to Tehran last Thursday for discussions, he was told the same.

Raisi added, “The Islamic Republic is serious in this. We must also see seriousness on the other side.”

Iran’s foreign ministry said that this month Iran has no pre-conditions for returning to the negotiating table.

Mora with a delegation arrived at Tehran and held talks with Iran’s new deputy foreign minister for political affairs Ali Bagheri Kani who is also Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator.

After the meeting, Iranian officials said that the talks were “positive and constructive” and they would continue in Brussels within two weeks.

But as Iran said it will come back to the Austrian capital “soon” and is still reviewing records of six rounds of negotiations that ended in June, the US and EU continue to push Iran to commit to a return date.

EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said, “We made it clear to the Iranians that time is not on their side and it’s better to go back to the negotiating table quickly.”

Preparatory measures

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the obstacles that were left hanging after the six rounds of talks would need to be discussed first with EU officials in Brussels prior to returning to Vienna.

In a tweet on Sunday, Russia’s top negotiator to Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said that talks in Brussels would be a preparatory step towards the continuation of real negotiations and not a substitute.

The US unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed waves of sanctions that blacklisted the entire Iranian financial system as part of former US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign.

As a response, Iran resumed its nuclear programs and advanced it to a level it never was before with uranium enrichment reaching a purity of 60 percent.


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