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Iran urges Europe to lean on US on lifting sanctions

By AFP - Apr 06,2021 - Last updated at Apr 06,2021

TEHRAN — Iran said on Monday that the outcome of talks in Vienna aimed at salvaging its nuclear accord will depend on European parties leaning on the US to lift sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany are pushing to bring US President Joe Biden's administration back into the 2015 nuclear deal, after his predecessor Donald Trump's withdrew and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

The other participants, including China and Russia, are to meet on Tuesday in-person in the Austrian capital, with the United States indirectly taking part.

"Whether the joint commission's agenda produces a result or not depends on the Europeans and the 4+1 reminding the US of its obligations and the Americans acting on their commitments," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

"How and where the 4+1 talk to the US is their own business," he told reporters, noting there will be no negotiations in Vienna.

The meeting's aim is to "talk about the path of lifting sanctions", he added.

The deal, also know as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), promised Iran relief from international sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear programme.

Biden has promised to rejoin the agreement on condition that Iran first returns to nuclear commitments it suspended in response to reimposed sanctions.

Tehran, however, says Washington has to end sanctions first.

The European Union has said its mediator will hold “separate contacts” with the United States in Vienna.

According to a senior EU official, two groups of experts from the other countries will work simultaneously, with one focused on US sanctions and the other on rolling back Iran’s suspended nuclear commitments.

Khatibzadeh said experts from an Iranian delegation would explain “how [we plan] to stop our remedial measures”.

“We have only one step, not step-by-step, [which] includes the lifting of all US sanctions,” he stressed.

“It will become clear tomorrow whether the 4+1 can realise the points expected by Iran or not, so that we would have a clearer path forward,” Khatibzadeh said.

The Vienna meeting comes after a video conference of a JCPOA joint commission held on Friday.

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