“We have put a new political package and a new initiative on the table. Although the American side accepted the initiative, it also insisted on passing the resolution,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a joint press conference with his visiting Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Tehran on Tuesday.
He added that Iran would never evade dialog with the P4+1 group of countries on the revival of the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Iran will not deviate from the logic of diplomacy and negotiations to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement and believes that diplomacy is the best way to reach a final point,” he said.
The top Iranian diplomat emphasized that the US, along with its three European allies, submitted the resolution in order to exert more pressure on Tehran and obtain concessions in indirect talks.
Since April last year, the Iranian negotiating team has been involved in marathon talks with the other remaining parties to the JCPOA – Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia – with the aim of bringing the US back into the deal and lifting its sanctions against Tehran.
However, the Vienna talks have been on hold since March as Washington insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs through measures such as removing Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
In yet another blow to the bleak prospects of reviving the JCPOA, the US, France, Britain, and Germany spearheaded a resolution at the IAEA’s Board of Governors on Wednesday, which accused Iran of not cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran has denounced the resolution and blamed the US and its three European allies for the crisis created over its nuclear program, which was under an unprecedented level of inspections before Washington withdrew from the JCPOA.
In the presser, Amir-Abdollahian said during the talks with the P4+1 group of countries in Vienna and exchanges of messages with Washington over the past months, Iran has proved that it supports dialog and rationale.
In response to the US-E3 resolution, the Islamic Republic has started to increase its nuclear activities and has informed the UN nuclear agency of the issue through the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, he added.
The Iranian foreign minister emphasized that the country would maintain its contacts with the European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, and his envoy to Iran talks, Enrique Mora.
Elsewhere, Amir-Abdollahian said the two Muslim countries of Iran and Pakistan have always enjoyed deep-rooted and promising relations.
He added that he held talks with Zardari on mutual relations, particularly in the cultural, tourism, trade and economic sectors.
Iran’s gas export to Pakistan was also among other issues discussed, the Iranian foreign minister said, adding, “Despite the unilateral US sanctions, there are mechanisms in the international arena which we hope [will help us] continue cooperation in the best way.”
Pakistan concerned about stability, security in Afghanistan: Zardari
The Pakistani foreign minister, for his part, said his country is concerned about fragile stability and security in Afghanistan.
He stressed the importance of supporting the Afghan people at the current sensitive juncture and called for the release of their assets frozen in the US.
Afghanistan’s acting Taliban government must also take serious steps to fight terrorism in the country, he added.
Pointing to important Tehran-Islamabad relations, Zardari said the two sides are determined to remove obstacles in the way of the expansion of trade cooperation and expressed hope that the two countries would further bolster mutual ties.