DUBAI MAR 23, 2022
The launch of a rocket by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard carrying a Noor-2 satellite is seen in the Shahroud Desert in Iran in this image taken from video footage aired by Iranian state television on March 8, 2022. (Iranian state television via AP)
Iran’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that the country was closer than ever to resurrecting a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, sounding a more positive note than the United States a day prior.
“If the U.S. acts pragmatically, we are ready to have foreign ministers of countries belonging to the nuclear deal’s joint commission gather in Vienna to finalize the agreement,” Hossein Amirabdollahian said during a press conference in Damascus alongside his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad.
“We believe that today we are closer to an agreement in Vienna than ever before.”
Following 11 months of negotiations, Iran and the United States are now saying that the ball is in the other’s court to revive the accord, which would curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting tough sanctions on Iran’s economy.
On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said a return to the deal was neither certain nor imminent.
The talks were close to an agreement until Russia demanded guarantees from the United States that sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine would not hurt its trade with Iran.
“We have given our latest proposals to the U.S. through the European Union’s Coordinator to reach a final deal. We reminded the Americans that we will not cross our red lines,” Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday.
The foreign minister also said that Tehran welcomes new talks between Syria and certain Arab countries.
Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week, his first visit to an Arab state since the Syrian war began in 2011.