Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi could not specify the process by which sanctions would be withdrawn, as European diplomats warn success in reviving the 2015 nuclear accord is not “guaranteed,” but it is also “not impossible.”
According to Iranian state media, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator said Tehran expects US sanctions on oil, banking, and other sectors, as well as most persons and organizations, to be lifted based on accords achieved so far in negotiations in Vienna.
As the discussions were postponed for six days, Russia and Western European governments provided conflicting perspectives of the work ahead in bringing Iran and the United States completely back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Sanctions … on Iran’s energy sector, which include oil and gas, or those on the automotive industry, financial, banking and port sanctions, all should be lifted based on agreements reached so far,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying on Saturday by the Iranian state media.
Araqchi did not specify which procedure would be used to ease sanctions or how Tehran would satisfy Washington’s expectations and adhere to the deal’s promises.
“We will negotiate until the two sides’ positions come closer and our demands are met,” he said.
“If they are met there will be an agreement, if not there will naturally be no agreement.”
When asked for reaction, the US State Department cited to previous statements, including Jake Sullivan, the US national security advisor, who stated the negotiations were at a “uncertain position” on Friday.
“We’ve seen willingness of all sides, including the Iranians, to talk seriously about sanctions relief restrictions and a pathway back into the JCPOA,” Sullivan said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal’s title.
“But it is still uncertain as to whether this will culminate in a deal in Vienna,” he said.
President Joe Biden is considering re-entering the agreement after the US withdrew from it in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and re-imposed sanctions on Iran. Iran retaliated in 2019 by violating many of the deal’s nuclear-activity restrictions.
Since early April, the surviving parties to the 2015 agreement have been in talks to attempt to resurrect it.