- After months of on-off negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell added hopes for a renewed deal.
- The US unilaterally withdrew under then-President Donald Trump in 2018 and again imposed severe economic sanctions.
- The negotiations in Vienna aim to bring the US back to the nuclear deal, including by lifting sanctions against Iran.
Tehran: Iran said on Monday that an agreement to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers was “imminent” but insisted that sanctions be “really lifted” through ongoing talks in Vienna.
After months of on-off negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell added hopes for a renewed deal.
“I am convinced an agreement is in sight,” he said on Twitter, after a phone call with Iran’s foreign minister.
“The time has come to make an ultimate effort and reach a compromise,” said Borrell, in his dual capacity as coordinator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 deal signed between Iran and the world powers. made an agreement.
But Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who received Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveney on Monday, said “sanctions really need to be lifted” in ongoing negotiations to revive the deal in the Austrian capital.
“The rights of the Iranian people must be respected,” he added.
Iran, Great Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are directly involved in the talks, and indirectly the United States.
The 2015 deal provided relief from Tehran’s sanctions in return for curtailing its nuclear program, but the US unilaterally withdrew under then-President Donald Trump in 2018 and re-imposed severe economic sanctions, prompting Tehran to withdraw its obligations. to turn.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price made a cautious remark late Monday.
“We will be a little more cautious in terms of progress we may see on the field in Vienna,” he told reporters. “Time is almost up”.
Raisi praised Ireland’s “independence from the United States and some European countries,” adding that the two countries have “enormous potential” to strengthen ties, according to state news agency IRNA.
Ireland occupies one of the non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council this year and last year. It acted as mediator for Resolution 2231, which was agreed in 2015 to endorse the JCPOA.
Also on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said he believed a revived agreement “is imminent”, provided the US and European parties are “serious” to return to full compliance. of the deal.
Coveney said he believed the Western parties to the 2015 deal are “deeply committed to making this work,” addressing reporters alongside his Iranian counterpart.
“I have discussed with Iranian counterparts the steps now needed to bring about a return to an agreement that will bring significant benefits to the Iranian economy through the lifting of sanctions,” Coveney added.
The negotiations in Vienna aim to bring the US back to the nuclear deal, including by lifting sanctions against Iran, and ensuring that Tehran fully honors its obligations.
“Our goal is the complete lifting of all JCPOA sanctions,” said Amir-Abdollahian, adding that “it is better for the Islamic Republic to reach an agreement today rather than tomorrow.”
The top Iranian diplomat’s comments followed comments from his ministry’s spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, who said earlier on Monday that “there is no deadlock in Vienna”.
“The negotiations are complicated and difficult as they have reached important issues that require serious political decisions, especially by Washington,” Khatibzadeh told a news conference.
“We need objective guarantees to ensure that the US does not leave the agreement again and that it keeps to its commitments,” Khatibzadeh said.
“All JCPOA sanctions with labels should be lifted at the same time,” he added.
The push to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal resumed in late November after a lull following Raisi’s election in June.