According to a newspaper report, the Iranian leadership has signaled its readiness to hold talks with the United States, the “arch-enemy” of the nuclear talks in Vienna. “Green light for live talks” was the headline on the front page of the Shark daily’s Wednesday afternoon edition and on Twitter. Iran has previously ruled out direct contact with the United States in Vienna, but according to Shark it will change course.
There are signs of this within the political leadership as well. “Negotiating with the enemy at some point should not be seen as a surrender,” said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all strategic matters under the constitution. Then came similar voices from the president’s office. “If the United States lifts sanctions, direct contact will be possible,” said President Ibrahim Raisi.
4 + 1 group
In the ongoing negotiations in Vienna, the so-called 4 + 1 group – China, France, Great Britain, Russia and Germany – are trying to secure the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal. To do this, the United States must return to the treaty after leaving in 2018 and lift sanctions against Iran. In return, Tehran will have to re-adhere to its technical requirements in the agreement. At the moment, however, negotiations between Tehran and Washington are taking place without direct contact.
The Iranian nuclear commission has so far rejected direct talks. In political circles in Tehran, however, criticism is mounting that US sanctions cannot be lifted and that the economic crisis cannot end without them. Oil-rich Iran is, in fact, facing the worst financial crisis in its history due to sanctions. Therefore, lifting them is a priority for Tehran as well.
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