According to state-run IRIB TV, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation and methods to break the impasse in the Iran nuclear talks with the Iranian side. The IRIB reported that Lavrov, who is on his two-day trip to Iran at the invitation of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, held a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi shortly after his arrival.
Iran signed the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the world powers in July 2015 accepting to put some curbs on its nuclear program in return for the removal of the sanctions on Tehran. However, former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting Iran to reduce some of its nuclear commitments under the agreement in retaliation.
Having not revealed any details of the meeting between Raisi and the Russian diplomat, the state-run television said Lavrov is expected to meet Iran’s senior officials to discuss the negotiation that aims to restore a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The two sides would also discuss situations in Ukraine, Syria, and Afghanistan, as well as ways to boost bilateral ties in trade and energy, it added. Both Iran and Russia are subject to strict U.S. sanctions, which have restricted their ability to transport their energy to international markets.
Since April 2021, several rounds of talks have been held in the Austrian capital between Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties to revive the deal. Iran insists on obtaining guarantees that the succeeding U.S. governments would not drop the deal again and calls for lifting the sanctions in a verifiable manner. After witnessing good progress signaling that an agreement was only a few days away, the diplomatic process has, however, faced a pause since March, raising concerns over the fate of the negotiation.
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