Apr 11, 2021 11:57 UTC
  • Russian diplomat: US not willing to remove Trump-era sanctions on Iran

A senior Russian diplomat said the administration of US President Joe Biden is not willing to remove sanctions imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump on Iran.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Russian radio of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

“What is clear is that the Iranian side wants the lifting of all sanctions at once, but the Americans are only ready to lift the sanctions related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” he said.

On Friday, envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — wrapped up the first round of the talks in Vienna aimed at revitalizing the nuclear deal.

A US delegation had also traveled to Vienna, but it did not have Iran’s permission to attend the discussions.

During the negotiations, two expert-level working groups discussed the sanctions Washington might remove as well as the nuclear curbs Tehran might observe, and reported their conclusions to the JCPOA Joint Commission.

The participants agreed to hold the next round of the talks on Wednesday.

Ulyanov said a representative from the European External Action Service (EEAS) played the role of a mediator in the Vienna meeting, given Iran's refusal to hold any contact with the United States.

“With regard to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran is not willing to hold direct talks with the US envoy until Washington removes JCPOA-related and non-related sanctions,” he said.

Asked whether the United States is prepared to terminate all its anti-Iran sanctions at once, the Russian envoy replied, "It is not clear at the moment and the near future will show if the Americans decide to lift the sanctions at once or step by step.”

He said all the European parties want the revival of the JCPOA, while Iran wants the removal of all sanctions in order to gain economic benefits from the deal such as cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“At this stage, the priority is to develop a roadmap to coordinate all the steps needed to revive the JCPOA, including the lifting of sanctions and Iran's return to compliance with the terms of the deal. It is not an easy task,” he said.