Iran chief nuclear negotiator discusses atomic deal in unannounced Russia visit: Moscow

Iran chief nuclear negotiator discusses atomic deal in unannounced Russia visit: Moscow
2 min read
03 July, 2022
Ali Bagheri met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and its permanent representative to the international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, according to Moscow's mission in the Austrian capital.
Ali Bagheri, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, made an unannounced trip to Moscow on Friday [ALEX HALADA/AFP/Getty-archive]

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator on Friday made an unannounced visit to Russia, two days after indirect talks between the Islamic Republic and US ended in Qatar with Washington saying there was "no progress made".

Ali Bagheri met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, and its permanent representative to the international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, Moscow's mission in the Austrian capital tweeted.

Ulyanov, who represents Russia in negotiations on restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, said there was a "very professional exchange of views around the JCPOA and prospects of the Vienna talks".

"My assessment: despite all the difficulties, the nuclear deal still can be restored. For this to happen the US should demonstrate greater flexibility," he said in a Saturday tweet about the meeting with Bagheri, who also serves as Iran's deputy foreign minister.

It comes as an adviser to Iran's negotiating delegation, Mohammad Marandi, on Saturday said Tehran had achieved "good concessions" from the US during talks, though added that "there are remaining outstanding issues that must be resolved".

He said that discussions have not progressed far enough at this point for Iran to feel the "relative reassurance" of its economic gains needed to restore the atomic agreement.

Speaking with news website Jamaran, Marandi said some in Iran "want the government to concede to America, which will lead to the acceptance of a weak agreement".

He claimed they were "influenced by western media propaganda and lack the necessary awareness of the facts", urging them not to "promote western psychological warfare in the negotiations".

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He said Iran seeks guarantees from the current administration of US President Joe Biden – not any future administration, as was suggested by an unnamed senior American official speaking with Reuters on Thursday.

Marandi argued that the US administration is "hardening" but Europe is "unable" to oppose this policy.

The senior American official who recently spoke with Reuters said Iran had brought "vague demands" and sought to "reopen settled issues" in Qatar this week.

He said the likelihood of restoring the nuclear agreement was "worse than before" the discussions and "will be getting worse by the day".