China slams US unilateral sanctions on Iran
China says Washington bears primary responsibility for the ongoing difficulties with Tehran.
Iranian news agency IRNA reported that several differences concerning lifting the sanctions on Iran have been eased during the ongoing Vienna negotiations.
An informed anonymous source told the agency that "the number of issues of difference has decreased and delegations are busy to discuss ways of implementing any potential agreement."
"We are now at a stage of the negotiations where we are discussing difficult issues and how we can translate the subjects that we agreed upon in principle into words and enter them into a document," IRNA quoted the source as saying.
The source expressed that "this is one of the most tedious, long and difficult parts of the negotiations, but is absolutely essential for achieving our goal."
"The negotiators will return to Vienna in two days," but expert-level discussions at the eighth round of talks would continue on Saturday and Sunday, IRNA said.
China slams US unilateral sanctions
During a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday, China renewed its opposition to unilateral US sanctions on Iran, while supporting efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Wang told Amir-Abdollahian that China would continue to "oppose illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran," and political manipulation on issues including human rights and interference in the internal affairs of Iran, as well as other countries in the region, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Chinese Minister said he believes the US is to blame for the current state of the deal, the Ministry statement read.
Iran’s FM @Amirabdolahian has met and held talks with Chinese FM and member of the country’s state council Wang Yi.— Iran Foreign Ministry 🇮🇷 (@IRIMFA_EN) January 14, 2022
In the meeting, the two FMs discussed a broad range of political, economic, trade, consulate, cultural, regional and international issues. pic.twitter.com/HJJkdVe3In
The US hinders agreement and threatens with alternative options
White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki pointed out to "some progress" achieved in the nuclear talks in Vienna but said that if both parties don't come to an understanding soon, the US will consider a different path.
In the same context, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said Friday a renewed deal with Iran on its nuclear program was still "possible" as the Vienna Talks advance in a "better atmosphere".
For his part, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday said the efforts by "all parties" to revive the nuclear agreement had resulted in "good progress".
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that only "a few weeks" were left to save the 2015 deal and that Washington would consider "other options" if the negotiations fail.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently noted progress in the talks, but said it was "too slow".
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted that the negotiations had "accelerated" and that "the chances of reaching a solution have risen."
Similarly, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed during an annual press conference he was "optimistic" about the direction of talks.
The Vienna Talks restarted in early January with Iranian delegate Ali Bagheri Kani arriving in Vienna on January 3.