Reaching an agreement in Vienna requires removal of sanctions: Raisi
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi tells an Iranian TV channel that Tehran would proceed with the nuclear talks but asserts that negotiations are not everything.
Cooperation with Russia is one of the ways to overthrow the sanctions imposed on Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi told Iranian state TV, revealing that he had discussed with Moscow various regional issues, "From Syria to the Caucasus."
Regarding economic cooperation between the two nations, Raisi highlighted that trade between Russia and Iran is not at the required level, noting that it could amount to $10 billion a year.
"We had been behind when it comes to our foreign policy, as it had no balance, and we are currently trying to work on balancing our policies with our neighboring countries," Raisi said.
On January 19, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi landed in Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two discussed various international and regional issues, in addition to bilateral cooperation in several spheres.
The US requesting direct negotiations is not new
Regarding the ongoing Vienna talks with the P4+1, Raisi asserted that Iran would proceed with the talks, but they are not everything, in a nod to the removal of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In response to the latest US request for direct negotiations with Iran, Raisi highlighted that this was not the first time Washington requested direct talks.
"Some countries conveyed several messages that the United States wants direct talks," Raisi added, asserting that Tehran never held direct negotiations with Washington.
Raisi also touched on the US sanctions on Iran and linked the issue to reach a nuclear agreement. "If the rest of the countries are ready to lift the unjust sanctions on Iran, it is possible to reach a good agreement."
The Iranian government had previously announced its rejection of any interim agreement with the West, saying it was not on their agenda.
Washington had announced Monday it was ready to meet directly with Iran to advance ongoing Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations, a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.
Earlier that day, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran may consider holding direct talks with the United States if it helps reach a better deal during the Vienna Talks.
A US state department spokesperson said Washington was prepared to meet directly. "We have long held the position that it would be more productive to engage with Iran directly on both JCPOA negotiations and other issues. This extends to bilateral and multilateral formats."