Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim RaisiReuters

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that the United States should lift the sanctions on his country to prove it is serious about restarting stalled nuclear talks in Vienna.

Speaking in an interview with state TV and quoted by The Associated Press, Raisi said Iran is after “goal-oriented” talks with the West and said Iran “never left” the negotiation table.

“Lifting sanctions is an indication of seriousness of the other party,” he added.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

However, the negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Raisi won Iran's presidential election, and no date has been set for a resumption of dialogue.

Raisi said on Monday that Iran "is serious in this issue, we should see seriousness in the other party,” too.

Last week, EU political director Enrique Mora, the chief coordinator for the talks, visited Tehran to meet members of Iran's nuclear negotiating team.

After Mora's visit, Iran's foreign ministry said it would hold talks in the coming days with the EU in Brussels. An EU official later said that Iran is not ready to return to talks with world powers over its nuclear program yet.

On Sunday, an Iranian lawmaker said that the nuclear negotiations with world powers will resume on Thursday, but EU officials could not confirm the comments.