Monday, January 17, 2022

Blinken discusses Iran, Russia with E3 top diplomats

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with French, German and British foreign ministers over Iran's nuclear program and Russia-Ukraine tensions, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss,” Price stated.

“They discussed the importance of continued coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine and affirmed the consensus among Allies and partners to impose massive consequences and severe costs on Russia for such actions. They reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” he continued.

“The Secretary and his counterparts also discussed their shared concerns about the pace of developments in Iran’s nuclear program as time runs short for Tehran to return to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),” Price added.

Iranian officials have rejected western diplomats’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement in Vienna talks, and stressed Tehran is only after a good agreement.

On Tuesday, Tehran gave upbeat view about talks that kicked off this week to salvage the nuclear deal with global powers, although western nations have claimed the negotiations are going too slowly.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has voiced optimism about the ongoing talks with the P4+1 group in Vienna, saying the negotiations are “on a good path”. He added Tehran believes that if the other sides continue talks in good faith and with seriousness, a win-win deal is possible in the near future.

On Wednesday, top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said if the parties to the Vienna talks reach an agreement, the US must first lift anti-Iran sanctions and then Tehran, after verifying the sanctions removal, will conduct its nuclear activities in accordance with the nuclear deal, JCPOA.

Bagheri Kani made the comment after bilateral and multi-lateral meetings with the heads of the negotiating teams of the European troika and the EU’s Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Enrique Mora in Vienna.

Bagheri Kani also added talks are going on well.

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