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Iran FM: US politicians not trustworthy, US' practical measures main criterion for judgment

Iranian Foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Iran’s foreign minister says US politicians have proven time and again that they cannot be trusted, stressing that the United States’ practical measures constitute the main criterion used by Iran to judge the statements of the American officials.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a tweet on Thursday as the remaining signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are negotiating in the Austrian capital, Vienna, with the goal of bringing the US back into compliance with the deal and getting Washington to remove the illegal sanctions.

“History, experience, and US behavior have shown that American politicians and rulers cannot be trusted,” Amir-Abdollahian wrote.

“For us, the criterion for any judgment will be practical behavior of the United States. On the issue of sanctions removal, Iran's interests must be fully realized and tangible action must be taken on the ground,” he added.

The Iranian top diplomat's remarks followed media reports denoting that the American officials are seeking direct negotiations with the Iranian delegation over the fate of the 2015 landmark deal, which the US unilaterally left in 2018.

Earlier in the week, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital for the removal of sanctions imposed on Tehran, saying that there has so far been no direct talks between Iranian and US delegations.

"The American side sends messages in various ways, calling for some degree of direct negotiations with Iran," the top Iranian diplomat said, noting that Tehran is engaged in talks with the P4+1 group of countries and has "non-paper" contacts with the US through Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief and head of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, and one or two signatories to the deal.

Amir-Abdollahian also rejected reports about direct talks between Tehran and Washington.

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) also said in a tweet on Tuesday that “contact with the American delegation in Vienna has been through informal written exchanges, and there was no need, and will be no need, for more contact, so far.”

Iran and the remaining participants to the JCPOA have been holding talks in Vienna since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the US into full compliance.

The US left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former president Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on a promise by Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, to rejoin the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own undoing of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.

Due to the latest developments, many observers now believe that the talks are advancing at an optimal pace and if all sides act realistically, a final agreement could be achieved within a logical time interval.

Tehran has not allowed the US to attend the negotiations due to its withdrawal from the JCPOA and its failure to remove its anti-Iran sanctions. As a result, the other participants are conducting shuttle diplomacy between the two sides.

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