Iran FM tells UN chief Tehran won’t tolerate language of threat
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the West has to understand that the Islamic Republic does not tolerate "any language of threat" against it.
"We are [acting] on the basis of good faith and initiative, and are seeking the conclusion of a good agreement, but do not brook the language of threat under any circumstances," he told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a telephone call on Wednesday.
The Western side has to understand that application of such discourse against Iran always "produces the opposite result," the top diplomat added.
The remarks came as Iran and the P4+1 group of countries that comprises the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany, have been holding several rounds of talks in the Austrian capital.
The talks are aimed at examining the prospect of removal of US sanctions Washington reimposed against Tehran in 2018 after leaving a historic nuclear agreement between Iran and the above countries.
Amir-Abdollahian repeated the Islamic Republic's assertion that the country does not accept any commitments beyond the 2015 nuclear deal.
He expressed regret that "the lack of initiative" on the part of the Western side had slowed down the negotiation process, while the Iranian side has come up with "some good proposals" that could form the basis of a lasting agreement.
The UN chief, for his part, considered the Vienna talks to be important, and repeated the world body's support for the nuclear deal.
He also expressed gratitude towards Tehran for its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally 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 decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of a non-performance by the other side.
The US administration of President Joe Biden had voiced a willingness to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.
Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — began negotiations in the Austrian capital in April in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.
The seventh round of the Vienna talks, the first under Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration, started on November 29 after a five-month pause.
Days into the renewed talks, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US bans and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.