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Iran FM says Western initiative in Vienna ‘good but slow’; calls for sanctions removal

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)
In this file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) is seen during a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (By Fars news agency)

Iran’s top diplomat has described the process of negotiations in Vienna “good but slow,” asserting that the West needs to focus on removing the United States’ sanctions against Iran.

“Despite the US violation [of the Iran nuclear deal] and the inaction of the three European countries, we are present in the Vienna talks in good faith,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said during a phone call with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday.

“Our team has clear, tangible, and practical plans and initiatives at every stage [of talks],” he added.

Amir-Abdollahian said the West “needs to offer its true initiative to remove the sanctions and put an end to the repetition of previous rhetoric that violates the rights and interests of the Iranian people.”

The seventh round of the talks started in the Austrian capital on Monday, after a five-month hiatus.

On the agenda is the removal of US sanctions against Iran that would pave the way for the US return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, three years after it unilaterally left the deal and reinstated economic sanctions on Iran.

A senior member of Iran’s negotiating team has told Press TV that Iran has entered the new round with “clear demands and proposals” and is ready to engage as long as needed, but will not sacrifice the nation’s demands and rights for the sake of deadlines.

Amir-Abdollahian said the Iranian delegation is at the negotiating table with goodwill, necessary powers, and achievable and forward-looking initiatives.

“In any negotiations and measures, the complete removal of the sanctions that run counter to the JCPOA is our common goal,” he said.

The chief Iranian diplomat also said that achieving a “good agreement” is within reach if some parties change their language of force to an outcome-oriented language of cooperation and mutual respect.

For his part, Borrell called the resumption of talks an important event, calling on all sides to be flexible in the negotiations.

He said he has told his deputy, Enrique Mora, who coordinates the Vienna talks, to form constructive and active interactions with Iran’s lead negotiator and the other delegations to reach an agreement.


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