English International

Russia criticizes EU pessimism over talks in Vienna to remove anti-Iran sanctions

The Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna says his country believes, unlike the European Union, there are no reasons to be pessimistic about the fate of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, whose revival depends on a removal of all anti-Iran sanctions.

According to reports, Mikhail Ulyanov made the remarks in response to an earlier tweet by European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora, who is slated to visit Tehran on Thursday to discuss the resumption of the Vienna talks, almost four months after they were paused due to Iran’s change of administration and Washington’s failure to remove all the sanctions.

“Travelling to Tehran where I will meet my counterpart at a critical point in time,” Mora tweeted on Wednesday. “As coordinator of the JCPOA, I will raise the urgency to resume #JCPOA negotiations in Vienna. Crucial to pick up talks from where we left last June to continue diplomatic work.

Ulyanov pointed out that the approaches of Russia and the EU almost fully coincide regarding the issue, adding, “The slight difference is that in our view there are no reasons for pessimism with regard to #JCPOA. The #ViennaTalks will resume soon. No doubt about it.”

In a series of tweets early on Wednesday, Ulyanov also criticized France and the United States for their counterproductive tone with regard to the Vienna talks.

“Dear French colleagues, we fully understand and respect your feelings,” he said, after French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters that the new Iranian administration of President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi raised doubts about its intention to return to the Vienna talks.

“But let’s refrain from hasty conclusions and judgments,” the Russian diplomat stated. “It is definitely not the right time for them. At this juncture they can be counterproductive.”

He then noted that the US negotiators “don’t fully understand” the consequences of the “maximum pressure policy” being in full force against the Islamic Republic.

Since the beginning of the Vienna talks, Iran has frequently said that it seeks the removal of all US sanctions that were imposed after the JCPOA went into force in January 2016 and wants a guarantee from the US that it will not abandon the deal again.

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