Lavrov in Tehran: Iran's FM Pleads With The US to Revive Nuclear Deal

Published June 23rd, 2022 - 01:17 GMT
Lavrov (L), Amir-Abdollahian
Lavrov (L), Amir-Abdollahian (Credit: Anadolu)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Thursday Iran is ready to resume talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, following talks with his Russian counterpart in Tehran.  

Speaking during a joint press conference with Sergey Lavrov in Tehran, Amir-Abdollahian urged the United States to be “realistic” regarding reaching an agreement on reviving the landmark deal.  

Lavrov arrived in Tehran on Wednesday on a two-day visit, his first since the Ebrahim Raisi government assumed power last year.  

Amir-Abdollahian voiced hope that the talks underway in Vienna since April last year to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal will resume soon, adding that Iran is "serious" about reaching a "good and lasting agreement.”   

The talks have been stalled due to key disagreements between Tehran and Washington, including the de-listing of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

Amir-Abdollahian appreciated the role of Russia, as well as China, in opposing the anti-Iran resolution at the UN nuclear watchdog's board of governors meeting, which called on Tehran to scale up its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  

Russia and China voted against the resolution drafted by the US and its three European allies, while India, Pakistan and Libya abstained.  

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran's lead nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri has been in contact with his European Union counterpart Enrique Mora, expressing confidence that the talks will be back on track soon. 

He also commented on heightened tensions between Iran and its arch-foe Israel, saying Tehran will not allow Tel Aviv to "jeopardize the stability and security" in the region.  

On Ukraine, Iran's top diplomat said Tehran is opposed to war and sees dialogue as the only viable solution to the crisis.  

He also hoped to host the Astana format meeting on Syria between Russia, Türkiye, and Iran in Tehran in the near future.  

Amir-Abdollahian said his talks with Lavrov took up visa cancelations and increasing the volume of bilateral trade between Tehran and Moscow.  

Lavrov, for his part, said Russia hopes that the US makes a "rational choice" by returning to the 2015 nuclear deal that it unilaterally abandoned in May 2018. 

He also called on Washington to lift all sanctions imposed on Iran that are in violation of the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord, of which Moscow is a signatory.  

The top Russian diplomat said trade between Moscow and Tehran surged by 80 percent to about $4 billion last year with focus mostly on energy, transportation, agriculture, customs and other areas.  

On Wednesday evening, Lavrov met with the Iranian president. Raisi’s office said both sides are committed to expand bilateral ties to shape a "new era of beneficial strategic cooperation." 

The Iranian leader emphasized the importance of cooperation between neighboring countries in the Caspian Sea basin, saying his country is opposed to foreign military presence in the region, in a veiled reference to the US. 

He further said the US and NATO "provocations" were shaping the war in Ukraine, urging coordinated efforts to resist NATO's military expansion in West Asia.

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