Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says his Qatari counterpart conveyed messages from the parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, whose fate has been in limbo ever since the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on Sunday, Amir-Abdollahian also lauded efforts by Doha during multilateral negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Today, we received messages from the JCPOA parties via the Qatari foreign minister,” he said, without providing more details.
He said Iran welcomes Qatar’s efforts to convey messages or initiatives to help the JCPOA parties resolve the remaining issues and have the US sanctions lifted.
Back in May 2018, former US president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA, which was reached between Tehran and six world powers three years earlier. Trump also imposed harsh economic sanctions against the country under the so-called “maximum pressure” policy.
The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April 2021, months after Joe Biden succeeded Trump, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.
The talks, however, stalled as Washington continued to insist on its hard-nosed position of not removing all sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic by the previous US administration. Iran maintains that it is necessary for the other side to offer some guarantees that it will remain committed to any agreement that is reached.
In response to a question about continued US economic pressure against Iran, Amir-Abdollahian said, “Unfortunately, pursuing economic terrorism against independent countries is on the US agenda.”
“Iran has used various methods to neutralize the sanctions and will continue to do so. We will continue to work with our friends in the region to counter such unproductive measures, which are in fact a systematic violation of human rights,” the top Iranian diplomat added.
Appropriate time to resolve JCPOA revival issues: Al Thani
The Qatari foreign minister, for his part, confirmed that he conveyed messages to his Iranian counterpart from different JCPOA parties about various issues.
Qatar believes that it is an appropriate time to settle the issues pertaining to the revival of the JCPOA and make the ground for the sides to reach a final agreement, Al Thani said.
He further said that he also carried messages from the US to Iran, adding that his country would continue efforts to clear up misunderstandings between the parties and their return to their commitments.
Qatar seeks to promote regional stability and revival of the JCPOA, which plays an important role in this regard, the Qatari minister said.
‘Iran welcomes regional dialogue to achieve peace’
Meanwhile, Amir-Abdollahian also said that Iran has always welcomed dialogue among regional countries, emphasizing that negotiations and accountability are key to promoting lasting cooperation in the region.
“We believe that dialogue and cooperation can be exclusive and successful ways to achieve regional peace, stability and collective security,” he said.
He noted that Tehran and Doha have a common stance on the need to accelerate the expansion of relations and remove any possible obstacle in this regard.
Elsewhere during the joint press conference, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to a Saturday night drone attack on a military workshop in the central city of Isfahan, saying the “cowardly” act was carried out in line with efforts to incite insecurity in Iran.
“Such measures will fail to have any impact on our experts’ will to achieve peaceful nuclear achievements,” he asserted.
He also said the Iranian security bodies are making utmost efforts to ensure “maximum security” in the country.
In an early Sunday statement, Iran’s Defense Ministry said one of its workshop complexes had come under attack from a number of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), but the complex’s air defenses successfully repelled the attack.
“One of the MAVs was downed by the complex’s air defense fire, while the other two were caught in its defensive traps and exploded,” the statement added.