The United States and all parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are serious in efforts to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian senior nuclear negotiator said on Friday.
After Friday's meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who heads Iran's delegation of negotiators, was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency that all parties are serious in solving numerous challenges.
Araqchi also said the U.S. expressed its readiness to lift many of its sanctions on Iran at the Vienna nuclear talks, but Tehran is demanding more.
"The news coming to us from the Americans is that they are both serious about returning to the JCPOA and are ready to lift a large part of (anti-Iran) sanctions," he said.
Senior EU official Enrique Mora and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi attend a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria May 1, 2021. /AFP
"But this is not adequate from our point of view and therefore the discussions will continue until we get to all our demands," Araqchi stressed.
Iran is serious in re-embracing its JCPOA obligations if its demands are met, he said, adding that "this has nothing to do with other issues in Tehran... including the upcoming presidential elections."
In Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden said he believed Iran was seriously engaging in the talks but it was unclear what Tehran was actually prepared to do for both sides to resume compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Asked at the White House if he thought Tehran was serious about talks, Biden replied: "Yes, but how serious, and what they are prepared to do is a different story. But we're still talking."
CNN on Friday reported that the Biden administration is weighing unfreezing $1 billion in Iranian funds that the country could use for humanitarian relief.
U.S. officials have returned to Vienna for the fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin withdrawing its commitments about a year later.