Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian listens to question during his news conference in Moscow, Russia. (AP)

September 23, 2021

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian criticized European “pressure” to speed up negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Amirabdollahian discussed bilateral cooperation with the European Union (EU) during his meeting with High Representative Josep Borrell on the margins of the UN General Assembly on 21 September.

The meeting focused on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), climate change, trade, security, and migration, and human rights issues.

The High Representative stressed the need for full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve outstanding issues and reiterated his concern about the overall trajectory of the Iranian nuclear program.

Borrell underlined the “great importance of a quick resumption” of the Vienna talks and said in a statement: “The Iranian Foreign Minister assured of the willingness to resume negotiations at an early date.”

The EU mission to the UN reported that the meeting followed up on the officials’ first phone conversation on 31 August.

Amirabdollahian praised Borrell’s efforts in following up the course of the Vienna negotiations but criticized the European troika’s pressure to resume the talks, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The statement indicated that the foreign minister thanked Borrel for his efforts in pursuing the nuclear talks, saying the US is one hundred percent mistaken if it thinks pressures on Iran will pay off.

“The European Troika has also steadily called on Iran to return to the negotiating table instead of pressuring the US, which has been violating the JCPOA, into returning to its commitments,” according to the statement.

Amirabdollahian emphasized that the behavior and policies of the Biden administration have so far been unconstructive to Iran and the nuclear deal.

“Biden has in words criticized Trump’s policies, but in practice, he is pursuing the same policies toward Iran.”

On Afghanistan, the Iranian FM referred to the high number of Afghan refugees in Iran.

The High Representative underlined the EU’s willingness to engage actively with regional partners to address the challenges of the present situation.

European sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that there are no plans to hold multilateral meetings with the Iranian side in New York at present, explaining that the sessions are “limited to bilateral meetings” between Amirabdollahian and several officials of the countries concerned with the nuclear issue with Iran.

They stressed that the Vienna talks are the most appropriate forum for Iran and the US to return to their commitments under JCPOA.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.