'Now is not the time to threaten Iran with greater pressure'

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (MNA) – Stating that now is not the time to threaten Iran with greater pressure, the Russian diplomat said all countries, including Iran and the United States, look for the restoration of the deal.

Rejecting the setting up some deadlines at the Vienna talks, Russia’s Permanent Representative to Vienna-based International Organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said in an interview with Foreign Policy, "This sense of urgency is a little bit exaggerated. Yes, it’s urgent, but let’s be prudent; let’s [not] set up artificial deadlines.”

“Frankly, I’m rather optimistic at this stage. I see no objective reasons for being skeptical," Ulyanov noted.

“I cannot guarantee that an agreement will be reached, but I believe that chances are very, very high as the main prerequisite for success is already there,” the Russian envoy added. “All countries, all participants, including Iran and the United States, look for the restoration of the nuclear deal.”

Ulyanov said China and Russia persuaded Iran to back away from some of its maximalist positions, including its insistence that the talks focus only on sanctions, not the nuclear issue. In the end, he said, the Iranians agreed to begin negotiations on the basis of a draft hammered out by the previous Iranian government this past spring.

The Russian envoy at the Vienna talks went on to say that now is not the time to threaten Iran with greater pressure. “Even if they produce a significant amount of nuclear material, so what. It cannot be used without a warhead, and the Iranians do not have warheads.”

Iran and the five remaining signatories to the JCOA  have held a new round of talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna focused on the removal of all sanctions imposed on Tehran after Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.

Representatives of Iran and the P4+1 group of countries began the eighth round of the Vienna talks on Monday after the previous round, the first under Iran's new President Ebrahim Raeisi, ended 10 days ago.

The Vienna talks resumed on November 29 after a five-month hiatus, marking the first round of negotiations under Raeisi’s administration and the seventh overall.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries sat down for talks in the Austrian capital on December 9 after being paused on December 3, when the participants returned to their capitals for additional consultations on the two draft proposals that Tehran had put forward.

During the 7th round, the new Iranian administration presented two separate proposals on the removal of US sanctions and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.

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