Iran's FM: I expect nuclear talks in Vienna to restart soon

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: We are finalizing consultations and will soon restore our negotiations in Vienna.

Elad Benari ,

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool via REUTERS

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said in Moscow on Wednesday that he expects negotiations on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to restart in Vienna soon, AFP reports.

"We are now finalizing consultations on this matter and will soon restore our negotiations in Vienna," Amir-Abdollahian told reporters after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

In Tehran, parliament's national security and foreign policy commission spokesman Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini said the talks would resume "in coming days".

"The messages and signals from Western countries point to the start of a new cycle of talks," he said, as quoted by Iran's Tasmim news agency.

The Iranian side would be led by "the foreign ministry or the Supreme National Security Council", whose decisions must be confirmed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Normally, the country's broad strategic lines are defined by the Supreme Council and implemented by the foreign ministry," Meshkini added.

The deal gave Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program. However, Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the agreement in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

US President Joe Biden has signalled a willingness to return to the deal, but his Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned last week that time was running out and the ball was in Iran's court.

On Tuesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hosted Israeli National Security Advisor Dr. Eyal Hulata and told him that the Biden administration believes diplomacy is the best path to achieve that goal, while also noting that the President has made clear that if diplomacy fails, the United States is prepared to turn to other options.