Khatibzadeh says progress made in Vienna talks, but major issues remain stangnant
The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran is awaiting the European and American side of negotiations to make a decision regarding the outstanding issues in Vienna.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh has expressed that if the Americans want different results in the negotiations, they should "change their policy of maximum pressure."
In a press conference on Monday, the Spokesperson described all the US sanctions as inconsistent with commitments made by the US.
He noted that although the talks in Vienna have made some progress, many serious and important issues remain stagnant.
In the same context, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, tweeted that "the Vienna talks started from the beginning between Iran, the 4+1 group and the European Union representative, and the talks will continue in this way without change until a result is reached."
He considered that talks with the US are not on the agenda because they will not lead to any breakthrough.
Responding to questions about lifting sanctions, Khatibzadeh noted that the Iranian delegation presented its written proposals to the negotiators in Vienna on the remaining outstanding issues, noting that all sanctions must be lifted, as this is an essential part of their demands.
Khatibzadeh reiterated that the interest of the Iranian people cannot be compromised, highlighting that necessary will has not been demonstrated by other parties.
Regarding dialogue with Saudi Arabia, Khatibzadeh noted that continuity and will are the two basic conditions for any negotiations, noting that when there is persistence and determination from the Saudi side, joint dialogue results will be seen. He detailed that Tehran is ready to continue dialogue with Saudi Arabia.
Frozen assets in Seoul
In light of the frozen funds in South Korea, the Iranian official pointed out that Iran will not cooperate so long as their funds are frozen in Seoul.
In July, former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran's clear right to utilize assets illegally held in South Korean banks.
The US Department of State announced in July 2021 that it had issued an exemption to some of Iran's blocked funds in South Korea and Japan, allowing them to import Iranian oil. The waiver, signed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, allows the "transfer of Iranian funds in restricted accounts to exporters in Japan and the Republic of Korea."
Amir-Abdollahian: the US must show goodwill gesture for direct talks
Regarding the prisoner exchange with the US, Khatibzadeh disclosed that the issue is proceeding.
The US is still tying the negotiations with the prisoner swap, as evidenced by US negotiator Robert Malley saying that a return to the deal is unlikely unless Iran releases prisoners held on spying charges.
However, Iran has before said that it refuses to tie both matters together, as it sees the prisoner swap to be a humanitarian affair and not tied to the nuclear talks, something it has stood by for months.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also commented on the Vienna talks, which aim to remove the US' unilateral sanctions on Iran and to secure a return of the United States to the JCPOA, saying that they could succeed at the "earliest possible time," provided that the US makes the necessary political decisions to do so.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told Emmanuel Macron, in a phone call, that the political claims being made to keep up the pressure against Tehran undermine the probability of reaching a deal.
He stressed that any agreement in Vienna must include sanctions removal and guarantees and provide an end for pending issues and political claims.