Russia shares stance with Iran on good agreement possibility in Vienna talks: Chief negotiator

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russia's ambassador to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov

A senior Russian diplomat says his country shares stance with Iran on the possibility of reaching a good agreement in a short time during the upcoming talks between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries, which are scheduled to start in the Austrian capital of Vienna later this month.

Russia's lead negotiator at the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran and the remaining parties to the landmark nuclear deal of 2015 -- officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- can reach a “good agreement in a short time” only in case of a “serious and positive” approach to the upcoming Vienna talks.

“The Islamic Republic has no intention to be locked in the stalemate remaining from the previous negotiations…I believe that if the opposite sides enter in the Vienna [talks] with a serious and positive approach, it will be possible to achieve a good agreement in a short time,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on Instagram on Friday.

In response to the Iranian foreign minister's post, Ulyanov said via Twitter that "Russia proceeds from the same understanding."

In another tweet, the Russian diplomat reacted to earlier remarks made by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Ali Baqeri-Kani on the significance of the removal of all sanctions against Tehran.

In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Baqeri-Kani said "effective removal of unlawful sanctions & importance of assurances on non-repetition was emphasized" during earlier visits to France, Germany, Britain and Spain.

In response to the Iranian chief negotiator, Ulyanov said, "It is natural that for Iran sanctions lifting comes first."

The JCPOA was unilaterally abandoned by the US in 2018 despite Iran’s full compliance with its nuclear undertakings, as repeatedly certified by the UN nuclear agency. The US then unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, which practically deprived the country of all of the deal’s economic benefits.

Iran fully honored its nuclear obligations for an entire year, after which it decided to ramp up its nuclear work as a legal “remedial measure” against the US violation of the deal and the abject failure on the part of the other signatories, the E3 in particular, to safeguard its benefits.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 are expected to hold the seventh round of discussions in Vienna on November 29. The negotiations were paused in June, when Iran held its presidential election. Since then, the new Iranian administration has been reviewing the details of the six rounds of discussions held under the previous administration.

The US administration of Joe Biden has said it is willing to rejoin the deal, but it has shown an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure. Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before it reverses its remedial measures.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that the United States needs to revise its policy of draconian sanctions against the Islamic Republic so as to help revive the JCPOA.

“The utmost must be done so that the negotiations ensure the restoration of what’s known as the ‘factory settings’ of the JCPOA,” Ryabkov said, according to TASS.

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