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The Cradle
US expresses willingness to conduct direct negotiations: Iranian FM
Iran's top official said that direct negotiations have no benefit if the US cannot guarantee that the next administration will not violate the deal
By News Desk - May 31 2022

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian revealed on 31 May that Tehran and Washington are exchanging indirect messages “once or twice a week” on the subject of nuclear negotiations, and that the latter has expressed willingness to conduct direct negotiations.

The Iranian official revealed these latest developments during a seminar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that the indirect messages were being passed through the EU’s top negotiator Enrique Mora, who visited Iran earlier this month.

Amir-Abdollahian said that for such direct negotiations to take place, the US would have to show goodwill in actions, not words.

We never said that we don’t accept JCPOA.We respected the international deal. I indirectly told US officials in Munich that it is ridiculous when you say you can’t guarantee that the next government won’t violate the deal,” he stated. Biden says he doesn’t approve of Trump’s approach, but we still haven’t seen a difference in practice.”

The Iranian foreign minister said the US had clearly stated they cannot guarantee that the next administration at the White House would uphold the deal.

His remarks came during a lecture on the influence of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its first Supreme Leader, on Iranian foreign policy.

Amir-Abdollahian said the Iranian foreign ministry’s perennial principle of “neither east [communist] nor west [capitalist]” established following the revolution, was not isolationist but preventative, in that it would never again allow Iran to be dominated or subjugated by any world power.

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran remains independent and is willing to work diplomatically with the entire world. He blamed the US for its hostile hegemony and its lack of diplomacy in respecting the self-determination of Iranian people and their choice of an Islamic government that rejects subjugation.

When we talk about balanced foreign policy, we emphasize that we will not be dominated by the west or the east, but we will have the necessary interactions [with them],” Amir-Abdollahian clarified.

At the same time as these revelations were announced, Iran’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani departed for Oslo, Norway on 31 May.

“Serious and constructive talks on bilateral, regional and international issues top the agenda. In addition to advancing national interests, including the lifting of illegal sanctions, we emphasize the development of Iran-Norway relations,” Bagheri Kani wrote on Twitter.

An ongoing deadlock in the Vienna negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement has been in effect since 11 March after the US seized several Iranian oil ships, resulting in the Iranian team leaving Vienna in protest. The talks have not been revived since.

One of the key obstacles is the US refusal to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the terrorist blacklist.

On 24 May, it was revealed that President Biden had doubled down on the decision to keep the IRGC on the terrorist blacklist.

Israel is behind the assassination of IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, according to an announcement made by IRGC chief commander Hossein Salami on 30 May.

The New York Times (NYT) reported that Israel informed the US it was behind the assassination.

The NYT report claims the assassination was aimed at derailing sanctions-removal talks that seek to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which had given Iran significant sanctions relief in exchange for limiting their nuclear energy program.

Despite sanctions, revenue from Iran’s energy exports increased by more than 60 percent between 21 March and 21 May, according to a recent report from the Iranian oil ministry.

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