Iran’s top negotiator in talks with the remaining members of the 2015 nuclear deal has arrived in the Russian capital to continue talks he started in Brussels on how to remove US’ unlawful sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Upon his arrival in Moscow on Thursday evening, Ali Baqeri-Kani told reporters that during his Moscow visit, he will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Ryabkov, on the new round of talks to be held aimed at removing US brutal sanctions against Iran.
“According to agreements with the P4+1 group of countries (Russia, UK, France, and China plus Germany) bilateral talks will be held with every one of these countries to share views on the negotiations, which aim to remove brutal sanctions that have been imposed on the Iranian nation. Within this framework, the first round of talks with the Russian will be held at the invitation of Ryabkov,” Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, quoted him as saying.
Iran’s chief negotiator emphasized, “The new round of talks will be held with the sole goal of getting US brutal and unlawful sanctions against Iran removed.”
Baqeri-Kani added that in addition to sanctions removal, he will discuss the promotion of bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest with deputies to Russia’s foreign minister.
“I believe that the most important issue in the new round of talks is the readiness of the opposite side to make a serious decision on removing brutal and unlawful sanctions,” Iran’s top negotiator said.
He added that negotiations on the removal of US sanctions will be resumed to be attended by European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as China and Russia.
During his stay in Moscow, Baqeri-Kani will meet with Ryabkov and Mikhail Bogdanov, both deputies to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Baqeri-Kani’s visit to Moscow came after he discussed the removal of Iran sanctions with the European Union’s Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Wednesday.
Following his meeting with Mora, Baqeri-Kani tweeted, “had a very serious & constructive dialogue with @enriquemora_ on the essential elements for successful negotiations. We agree to start negotiations before the end of November. Exact date would be announced in the course of the next week.”
had a very serious & constructive dialogue with @enriquemora_ on the essential elements for successful negotiations.
We agree to start negotiations before the end of November. Exact date would be announced in the course of the next week. https://t.co/0A7BOPZh8f
— علی باقریکنی (@Bagheri_Kani) October 27, 2021
Former US President Donald Trump left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted.
He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
Following a year of strategic patience, Iran resorted to its legal rights stipulated in Article 26 of the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories and let go of some of the restrictions imposed on its nuclear energy program.
Iran and the remaining parties to JCPOA have held six rounds of talks in Vienna, which began after the US administration of Joe Biden voiced a willingness to rejoin the nuclear agreement, three years after Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal.
While disagreements on key issues persisted, the participants took a break from the talks after Ebrahim Raeisi emerged victorious in Iran’s June presidential election, and waited for Iran’s democratic transition to take place to continue the talks.
The scope of the sanctions removal and the need for the US to guarantee that it would not ditch the JCPOA again are among the key issues not settled during the administration of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
In recent weeks, there has been mounting pressure on Tehran to return to the negotiating table. The Raeisi administration has announced on several occasions that it will resume the talks only to remove all of the United States’ illegal sanctions and that it will not take part in negotiations for the sake of negotiations.