Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian defended on Thursday the preservation of the nuclear negotiations, describing the deal as an “international document to cancel sanctions.”
In remarks on Thursday, Abdollahian said that his country has been exchanging indirect messages with Washington for weeks, accusing the Western parties of being “addicted to sanctions”, while the two sides are still on the diplomatic track to revive the nuclear agreement.
“While we are in the midst of indirect negotiations with America, and direct [talks] with other parties... sanctions are being imposed on Iranian entities and individuals,” he said.
“Sometimes we are told that the nuclear deal is over... But today, we secured a document to cancel the sanctions. We have been negotiating for months, not for the sake of negotiation. The government is determined and our plan is to maintain efforts...” the minister added.
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi’s government has come under criticism from its conservative allies that it is seeking unilaterally to revive the nuclear deal.
“We have been exchanging indirect messages for weeks to cancel the sanctions, and the foreign ministers of some countries have been seeking to reach a consensus on the first draft,” Abdollahian stated.
In addition to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic sanctions, the foreign minister pointed to the impact of the Ukrainian war on the economic and living conditions in Iran.
“For this reason, we focus on economic diplomacy and the development of foreign trade,” he said.
Iran and the parties to the agreement, with the coordination of the European Union and indirect US participation, began talks to revive the nuclear deal in April 2021. However, since then, Tehran has begun enriching uranium by 60 percent, which enables it to reach quantities to develop nuclear weapons.
On a different note, Abdollahian said that Iran “does not recognize the current governing body in Afghanistan,” and “insists on the necessity of forming an inclusive government” in the country.
“We insist on the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan because the Taliban are just part of and the entire reality in Afghanistan,” he told Iranian diplomats at the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini on Thursday.
Referring to a renewed dispute between Iran and Afghanistan over the share of water in the Helmand River, the minister said: “We have told Afghan officials that the problem of the right to water cannot be resolved through political statements, but legal steps must be taken in this regard.”