Iran’s rights, interests must be secured during Vienna talks

Iran’s foreign minister says the nation’s interests must be secured during the Vienna talks with the remaining signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s straightforward and clear stance is that the Iranian nation’s rights and interests must be ensured at the negotiating table and sanctions must be lifted,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a video message where he elaborated on the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the 100 days since the administration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took office. 

“We hope we will be able to take major and successful steps forward during the Vienna negotiations,” the top diplomat added. 

“We are serious during the talks about reaching an agreement,” he said.

“We will kick off the Vienna talks this week. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s hands will definitely not be tied. We have different options available to us. We will begin with the option of dialog in Vienna,” said the top diplomat.

Elsewhere in his remarks he touched upon the national campaign to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“On the first day of my work as foreign minister, I had a joint meeting with the health minister as well as top officials from the Central Bank, the Red Crescent Society and the Customs Office, which were supposed to help facilitate vaccine imports,” Amir Abdollahian explained. 

He said efforts were made to import large numbers of COVID-19 vaccines in the early days while local researchers were working, at the same time, to develop vaccines inside the country. 

“Today, I’d like to announce with pleasure that over 100 million doses of vaccines have been administered to our fellow countrymen nationwide, and now we are able to export part of our domestically-developed vaccines,” the foreign minister explained. 

The head of Iran’s diplomacy apparatus also referred to Tehran’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

He said the document on Iran’s permanent membership in the SCO was approved in a recent meeting of the organization in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, describing the development as a “success.” 

“Given the process of Iran’s permanent membership in the SCO, we will, in the coming year, see Iran gradually achieving success and promote trade and economic cooperation at the level of the SCO region and with SCO member states,” he said.

He also said meetings have been held with Iranian expatriates to get a first-hand account of their problems and address the issues they are facing.

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