The United States needs to make a decision to wrap up a deal to salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday amid fears that talks in Vienna might collapse.
Efforts to clinch a new deal were left in limbo after a last-minute demand by Russia – now at odds with the West over its invasion of Ukraine – forced the powers to pause talks for an undetermined time despite having a largely completed text.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian will visit Russia on Tuesday, ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference, without elaborating.
Iran’s Nour News, affiliated with a top security body, described the foreign minister’s visit to Moscow as “a platform for serious, frank and forward-looking talks” between two countries which have demonstrated that “they can work very closely, decisively and successfully on complex issues”.
Washington would be open to “diplomatic alternatives” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon if a deadlock sparked by sanctions against Russia makes a formal return to the 2015 nuclear deal impossible, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday.
Talks taking place in Vienna were paused last week after Russia demanded sweeping guarantees that Russian trade with Iran would not be affected by sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine – a demand Western powers say is unacceptable and Washington has insisted it will not agree to.