The US must “accept reality” and agree to lift sanctions on Iran when negotiations to revive the nuclear deal resume in Vienna next week, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri, told Al Jazeera.
Going into the negotiations that will resume on November 29th, Iran is asking the US to accept responsibility for scrapping the deal, lift all sanctions imposed since the Trump administration withdrew in 2018, and make a guarantee that the US wouldn’t exit the agreement again.
But the Biden administration’s stance is that it won’t lift all sanctions imposed since 2018, only those it considers “inconsistent” with the nuclear deal. During the initial rounds of talks that were from April to June, Biden refused to lift all Trump-era sanctions, forcing Iran to negotiate limited sanctions relief.
When asked about the difference in stance between the US and Iran, Bagheri, who will lead the upcoming talks for the Iranian side, explained that Iran is in a better position to dictate terms since the US violated the JCPOA in the first place.
“Iran, having overcome the so-called maximum pressure campaign, is sitting at the negotiating table with full preparedness, capacity and total commitment to the 2015 deal,” Bagheri said. “That’s why the Americans, while resorting to deception, try to exploit the political and media environment in their own favor. But it is not to their advantage. They should accept reality and abide by all their commitments.”
Leading up to the talks, the US has imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, a sign that the Biden administration is not serious about reviving the deal. The US has also been coordinating closely with Iran’s rivals ahead of the negotiations.
Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is visiting Iran this week. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday that Tehran hopes the meetings with Grossi will be “constructive.”