Russia not obstructing a good deal in Vienna: Iranian spokesperson

Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed a Wall Street Journal report that the relaunch of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was threatened by Russian demands over sanctions imposed on Moscow after the war. in Ukraine.

He said Russia had offered its demands in a fairly formal and transparent manner, and that the subject should be discussed by the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, like any other question or request raised by the other parties.

“Russian officials have hinted in private talks and in the Joint Committee (JCPOA) that they will not prevent any good deals,” Khatibzadeh said.

Declaring the United States as the main culprit for the status quo, the spokesperson said that Russia and China had displayed the “most constructive and close” positions in favor of Iran during the talks in Vienna at the course of the last 11 months.

“Reducing what is happening in Vienna (and tying it) to a single element, namely a Russian demand, is what the United States is looking for to forget its responsibility in the current situation. No one should forget that the United States is currently held responsible for the current conditions because we are in a state of no agreement,” the Iranian spokesman added.

He reiterated that as soon as the United States makes its political decision, all delegations can return from their capitals to Vienna and reach an agreement.

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

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on Dec. 27 with a focus on lifting all sanctions the United States had imposed on Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. The United States is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its 2018 withdrawal from the Iran deal.

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