Iran Rules Out Any Talks With U.S. in Vienna Unless Sanctions Go

Iran said it will hold no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. when the two countries and other world powers gather in Vienna on Tuesday for planned talks on the possible resurrection of the 2015 nuclear deal.

A U.S. official said last week that American and Iranian representatives would take part in indirect talks, but Iran’s deputy foreign minister ruled that out, according to state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

“We will have no negotiations with Americans in Vienna, either directly or indirectly,” Abbas Araghchi was quoted as saying. The remaining parties to the nuclear accord “should persuade the United States any way they can” to lift all sanctions the Trump administration imposed before Iran will undo its own breaches of the agreement, he said.

Iran abandoned some of the limits on its nuclear program after former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from the deal championed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and reimposed crippling sanctions. Tehran has since repeatedly rebuffed direct talks with the Biden administration on reviving the pact.

Araghchi also ruled the prospect of a “step-by-step” initiative for lifting sanctions and returning to nuclear deal commitments.

“There is but one step; the U.S. must remove all sanctions rebranded, imposed or re-imposed under Mr. Trump,” he said.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to “show a constructive stance” at the Vienna meetings and “cease abiding by illegal sanctions imposed by the U.S.”

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