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Iran FM: In Vienna, we seek guarantees that new sanctions won’t be imposed

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)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (file photo)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says during sanctions removal talks in the Austrian capital, Tehran seeks guarantees that no further sanctions will be imposed on the country once they are removed.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera news network on Monday, during which he elaborated on the overall course of negotiations in the Austrian capital with the goal of removing illegal sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

“We seek removal of sanctions that were imposed on Iran by [former US President Donald] Trump, especially those sanctions that are at odds with the [2015] nuclear deal [officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)],” Iran’s foreign minister said.

Amir-Abdollahian added, “We also want guarantees that no new sanctions are imposed and that the existing sanctions would not be reimposed once they are removed.”

Iran’s foreign minister stated that facilitating the country’s oil exports and return of their revenues to the country are among guarantees sought by Iran in Vienna talks.

“The eighth round of Vienna talks is on the right path ... [and] achieving a good agreement is possible if the Western sides show serious determination,” Iran’s top diplomat said.

Amir-Abdollahian noted that Iran and the United States are exchanging unofficial messages in Vienna in order to facilitate the ongoing talks, saying, “We hear good words from Americans in Vienna, but what is important is to see them taking serious steps.”

'We are ready to reestablish ties with Saudi Arabia at any time'

Elsewhere in the interview, Amir-Abdollahian reflected on the ongoing talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia saying, “Our negotiations with Saudi Arabia are positive and constructive and we are ready to reestablish ties at any time.”

“Our representatives at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will return to Jeddah and this is a positive step,” Amir-Abdollahian noted.

Iran’s top diplomat said Tehran is aware of the importance of comprehensive talks encompassing Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey to help resolve regional problems.

He also condemned normalization of a number of Arab countries’ relations with Israel, saying, “We have warned our neighbors that normalization of relations with the Zionist regime is a strategic mistake and they will be the first parties to pay a price for it.”

Amir-Abdollahian's remarks came after earlier on Thursday, Iran’s chief negotiator in Vienna talks said the negotiations with the remaining signatories to the Iran deal are “positive and forward-moving.”

Ali Bagheri Kani added that efforts were underway to achieve results from the talks.

Iran and the five remaining signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — resumed talks in Vienna on Monday after the parties took a three-day break for the New Year.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all US sanctions. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the landmark deal with Iran.

During the previous round of the talks, the first under Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran presented new proposals at the negotiating table to help the talks move forward and later criticized the European signatories of the JCPOA for failing to follow suit and remaining passive.

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