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Iran’s Hopes Do Not Lie in Vienna, NY: President

The Iranian government has not pinned its hopes on what would happen in Vienna or New York, President Ebrahim Raisi said, noting that his administration has adopted a balanced foreign policy focusing on the neighboring states.

President Raisi on Friday delivered a speech at the Grand Musalla (prayer hall) of Tehran before the beginning of the Friday prayers, marking the 43rd anniversary of victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In his remarks, the president highlighted the independent nature of the Revolution, saying his administration is determined to battle corruption, injustice, and bribery.

He also deplored an imbalance in the country caused by the orientation to the West, saying his administration tries to establish balanced relations in its foreign policy.

“Our hopes lie in God and the people, and we would never pin our hopes on Vienna and New York,” President Raisi added, referring to the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal and the diplomatic efforts at the UN to lift the sanctions against Iran.

“We must pay special regard to all countries, particularly to the neighbors,” he noted, stressing that his administration is highly hopeful about the future.

He also noted that the domestic capacities as well as the determined and educated young forces have raised hopes about the bright and promising future of Iran.

In comments at a meeting with Finland’s foreign minister in Tehran on Monday, President Raisi voiced Iran’s readiness for an agreement in the Vienna talks as soon as the sanctions are lifted, but emphasized that the Islamic Republic does not tie its economy to the results of the JCPOA talks.

Referring to the Iranian administration’s plan to develop neighborly relations, Raisi said, “We are looking for good relations with all countries in the region and we will continue this policy. Wherever there is a problem in our region it is because of the interference of outsiders.”

Iran and the remaining participants to the JCPOA have been holding talks in Vienna since April last year with the aim of reviving the deal by bringing the US into full compliance.

The US left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former president Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on a promise by Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, to rejoin the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own undoing of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all sanctions that the United States had imposed on Iran after its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the deal with Iran.

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