Iran told Russia on Saturday that Western governments should be “realistic” when nuclear talks resume later this month and not to exceed the bounds of the 2015 deal they are seeking to revive, AFP reported.
A telephone call between Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, which Moscow said was requested by Tehran, came just weeks before the talks reopen in Vienna on November 29 after a five-month gap.
“The rapid approach of the talks requires the European and American sides to adopt a constructive and realistic approach, avoiding excessive demands that go beyond the terms of the nuclear agreement” struck in 2015, the Iranian minister said, according to a ministry transcript.
The Russian foreign ministry said the two “sides spoke in favor of restoring the nuclear deal in its original, balanced configuration, approved by the UN Security Council”.
“They confirmed that this is the only correct way to ensure the rights and interests of all participants of the comprehensive agreements.”
The previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.
The negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election.
On Wednesday, an Iranian diplomat said that the negotiations will restart November 29 in Vienna.
Iran wants a lifting of all US sanctions which were imposed after Trump’s withdrawal, but the Biden administration says it will only negotiate measures taken by its predecessor over the nuclear program, not steps imposed over other concerns such as human rights.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said this week, after Iran announced the resumption of talks, that negotiations should pick up exactly where they left off and expressed optimism that outstanding issues could be resolved swiftly.
“We’ve said this many times before, but we believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June when the sixth round concluded,” Price said.
He warned, however, that the US feels time is running short to reach an agreement.
“We believe that if the Iranians are serious, we can manage to do that in relatively short order, but we’ve also been clear, including as this pause has dragged on for some time, that this window of opportunity will not be open forever, and that, especially if Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps,” Price stated.