West to be responsible if Vienna negotiations fail

TEHRAN, Feb. 23 (MNA) – Stating that it is time to see initiatives and flexibility from the western side, the Iranian Foreign Minister said that without any doubt, the West will be responsible if the negotiation fails.

"We didn’t come to Vienna to have negotiations for negotiation's sake but to have negotiations that result in a good agreement. I believe we’ve never been so close to such a deal," said Amir-Abdollahian in an interview with Euronews on the sidelines of the 58th Munich Security Conference in response to a question about the seriousness of the Iranian team in the negotiations.

"We’re approaching an agreement, there are some remaining issues which are our red lines. So far, we’ve taken lots of initiatives and shown the required flexibility at the Vienna negotiating table," he added.

Stating that any exact timing for a deal is in the hands of the western side, the Iranian top diplomat cited that a deal could be finalized in less than a few hours if the western side looks at what is going on in Vienna more realistically.

"The Iranians will remain at the negotiating table, applying themselves seriously, despite the fact that on several occasions when there were difficult phases of the negotiations, the western side raised the possibility of leaving the table," he continued, adding that without any doubt, the West will be responsible if the negotiation fails.

Speaking on the matter of the guarantees required by the Iranians, Amir-Abdollahian stated, "We systematically get messages about President Biden’s goodwill and we compare them with the behavior of Joe Biden and the American administration, we realize there’s a paradox. On the one hand, they send messages of goodwill and on the other hand, at the same time, sometimes even on the same day, they impose new sanctions against some of our individuals and officials."

"So what matters to us is the behavior of the Americans. We will judge them on their behavior," he stressed.

Elsewhere in his interview with Euronews about the relation of Iran with Europe, the Iranian FM said that Iran keeps an eye on all the regions of the world, including the European continent.

Iran is interested in developing relationships with all European countries, he said, "But we said clearly to our French, British and German counterparts that despite the importance of our ties with them, we are not going to reduce Europe to just these three countries."

Iran has an independent plan to develop and improve its relations with each individual European country, he continued.

Answering a question about the prisoner swap, the FM said, "Last year, we reached a deal to exchange a number of prisoners on a package format, including American, British and other nationals. We agreed on the number and date but unfortunately, at the last minute, the Americans suspended the agreement. We’ve announced that we’re ready, either outside the Vienna talks or alongside them, to exchange prisoners when the other side is ready."

MP/PR

News Code 184225

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