Iran has demonstrated a readiness to work on the parameters for returning to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Russian deputy foreign minister said on Monday.
"Over the past days and weeks, the Iranian side has shown a pronounced will and readiness to work on the parameters for returning to full implementation of the JCPOA, which implies both the lifting of all relevant sanctions by the American side and the return of Tehran in full to the original settings of the JCPOA", Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, adding that Russia contributed to this.
The diplomat said that Moscow expects the US and Iran to start discussing the restoration of the JCPOA after the Joint Commission talks on 6 April.
"Tomorrow, Vienna will host a meeting of the Joint Commission within the framework of the JCPOA. After that, we expect the start of expert consultations, in fact, negotiations, which will be indirect. As a result of these efforts, we hope that it will be possible to remove the problems associated with the volume of Tehran's fulfillment of its obligations, but also, of course, to ease the sanctions burden that this country has been experiencing for a long time, especially in the period after the US left the JCPOA unilaterally", Ryabkov said.
He added, however, that Russia respects Iran's decision to refuse to negotiate with the US directly.
"We respect this decision by the Iranian side. It is no secret that Russia has come out in support of the idea of a European foreign policy service, put forward a few weeks ago, to hold an informal contact between all the JCPOA participants, as well as the United States. But as soon as a different decision was made in Tehran, we will work in the format of indirect negotiations, with which, by the way, everyone agreed, including the Americans", the diplomat said.
In addition, the Russian official said that there is no deadline for the full restoration of the JCPOA.
Earlier in the day, Russia's permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that Moscow is ready to facilitate indirect contacts between Iran and the US on the JCPOA. He added that no direct contacts between the Iranian and US side are planned on Tuesday, when a meeting of the JCPOA's Joint Commission is going to be held in Vienna.
The US withdrew from the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions against Tehran under the presidency of Donald Trump in 2018. Iran reacted by giving the European signatories to the deal a year to help Tehran bypass US energy and banking sanctions. When Europe failed to do so, Iran announced that it would start gradually suspending the implementation of its commitments under the deal, meaning increasing uranium enrichment levels from the previously agreed 3.67% to nearly 20%.
The new US administration led by Joe Biden pledged the country's return to the JCPOA after Tehran stops its uranium enrichment activities. Iran refused, insisting that Washington must be the first to return to its commitments under the deal since it was the first to violate it.