Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy visits Vienna to attend nuclear talks
TEHRAN – Mehdi Safari, deputy foreign minister in charge of economic diplomacy, traveled to Austria on Saturday to join Iran’s negotiating team in the Vienna talks.
Safari, Iran’s former ambassador to Russia and China, was also present at the start of the seventh round of the Vienna talks which started on November 29 last year.
While in Vienna, Safari met with a number of Austrian officials on the sidelines of the nuclear talks.
After meeting with Austria’s deputy economy minister as well as central bank and insurance chiefs, Safari told IRNA that the Austrian side is interested and optimistic about the development of economic relations with Iran.
Regarding the content of his last meeting with the Austrian Deputy Minister of Economy, the Iranian diplomat said that the two sides agreed to establish a 5-10 year roadmap for economic cooperation.
It was also agreed that Austria would cooperate closely with the Iranian ambassador in Vienna. The groundwork is done, according to Safari.
The eighth round of talks began on December 26 in Vienna. This is one of the longest rounds of talks to date. Participants are busy drafting the text of an agreement to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. They are expected to agree on some key issues.
The previous six rounds of talks have taken place under the administration of Hassan Rouhani. They started in April and lasted until June.
Vienna’s new tours resumed after Ebrahim Raisi took office as Iran’s president.
Speaking on the sidelines of President Raisi’s meeting with foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the Vienna talks were a litmus test for the United States.
“Today in Vienna there is a big test for the United States and the West to show their true behavior to the international community,” said Amir Abdollahian.
He stressed that the timing of the conclusion of negotiations will be determined by the willingness of Western parties to fully honor their obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iranian diplomats in Vienna are negotiating to lift oppressive sanctions, the foreign minister said.
He added: “We are at the negotiating table with seriousness, planning and initiative, and we are determined to reach a good agreement.”
Meanwhile, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said on Wednesday that the United States was not united in taking a “political decision” to advance ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the nuclear deal in Iran. 2015 abandoned by the Trump administration.
“The voices of the US government show that there is no consistency in the country to make political decisions in the direction of advancing #ViennaTalks. The US administration cannot pay for its internal conflicts by violating the legal rights of #Iran,” Ali Shamkhani tweeted on Wednesday.