Iran Says US Stalling Vienna Talks By Not Lifting Sanctions

Despite the long process, Tehran says good progress has been made

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the US has been stalling the nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna by not making a decision on sanctions relief.

“There are crucial differences left in Vienna and most importantly is the disproportionate speed of the opposing parties, especially the United States,” Khatibzadeh said. “In the discussion of lifting sanctions, the talks are subject to political decisions that have been stalled by the other side.”

If President Biden ever decides to give Iran the necessary sanctions relief to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, he would come under a lot of political pressure from Republicans in Congress and some Democrats. Iran is also seeking guarantees and verifications on sanctions relief since the US withdrew from the JCPOA once before.

If the US decides to lift sanctions, Khatibzadeh said the two sides would “reach a lasting, reliable agreement at a good pace.”

Despite the differences on sanctions relief, the Khatibzadeh still said significant progress has been made in Vienna since the talks restarted at the end of November. “Negotiations are going in the right direction, we have no unresolvable impasses,” he said.

Overall, Iranian officials have had positive things to say about the Vienna talks when most US comments have been negative. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned there was only a “few weeks” left to revive the JCPOA and said the US would consider “other options” if the talks fail.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.