EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iranian officials are free to express their ideas, but those personal opinions should not be regarded as the country’s official state policy.
“Iranian polity is vibrant & officials express diverse opinions. But those opinions should NOT be confused with state policy,” he said in a tweet on Friday.
His remark came in response to comments by Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Expediency Council, in an interview with the Financial Times where he had said Iran would be ready to discuss the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and other western powers if they provide a “clear signal” that sanctions will be lifted “within a year”.
The US, which abandoned the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran, wishes to rejoin the agreement under its new president, Joe Biden. It, however, urges Iran to first return to full compliance and reverse its remedial steps away from the deal’s limits.
Iran demands that all sanctions be removed in an effective and verifiable way first. It has recently rejected an invitation for talks with JCPOA participants and the US as a guest, arguing that with sanctions still in full effect, the time is not suitable for such a meeting.
Rezaei, contrary to Iran’s official stance, said the country would enter into talks if it is reassured of the gradual removal of sanctions within a year.
“We have to see every month during the talks that some sanctions which are of urgency to us are being lifted,” he said.
Zarif stressed that as Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator, “I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action through proper diplomatic channels.”
He also reiterated the course of action Iran has laid out for the US if it intends to return to the deal, which is for Washington to “Commit, Act, Meet”.