BRUSSELS (Dispatches) – The European Union has taken note of the cabinet nomination process in the Iranian parliament and is looking forward to continuing negotiations to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Peter Stano, the European Commission’s foreign policy spokesman, said on Thursday. The Iranian parliament approved on Wednesday 18 out of 19 members of President Ebrahim Raisi’s government. Only the education minister nominee failed to secure the parliament’s support, as lawmakers found him lacking the necessary experience. The president will now have to propose another candidate. “We, of course, took note of the nomination process and the approval process that was completed yesterday in the parliament. I can only say that we, as the European Union, are ready to engage with the new government in line with the EU’s policy towards Iran,” Stano told a press briefing. The diplomat added that the foreign minister nominee, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, who passed a vote of confidence in the parliament, was not new to the bloc, as he had already made contacts with EU officials. “We look forward to continuing the crucial negotiations about bringing the JCPOA back on track and back to full delivery,” Stano said. Since April, Vienna has been hosting talks aimed at bringing the U.S. back to compliance with the nuclear agreement. The sixth round of the talks finished on June 20 and the negotiations have since hit a deadlock. While participants in the talks expected to complete them by the deal’s anniversary on July 15, Tehran insisted the negotiations should resume after Raisi takes office and a new government is formed in August. During the parliamentary discussion on his foreign policy outlook, Amir-Abdollahian said he would not tie the fate of the country to the JCPOA, and instead, would focus his attention on neutralizing the sanctions. At the same time, Amir-Abdollahian said the Raisi administration would never leave a “logical negotiating table.” He also affirmed that Iran’s foreign policy would prioritize relations with neighbors and Asian
countries under the new administration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Iranian counterpart that talks on the Iranian nuclear deal in Vienna should restart as soon as possible, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday. “The Iranian side perceived this signal with due seriousness,” the ministry’s statement read.
The two ministers also underlined the need for further development of bilateral collaboration in the international arena, particularly with regard to Afghanistan.
They stressed that Tehran and Moscow have similar views on developments in the war-stricken country.
Amir-Abdollahian and Lavrov called for peaceful dialogue among Afghan political factions, and the formation of an inclusive government as the only way to end the violence in Afghanistan.
They stated that Russia and Iran will support a government which is formed following peaceful talks in Afghanistan.
The Iranian and Russian foreign ministers also held talks on the need for close coordination within the framework of the Astana talks on resolving the Syrian issue.
They discussed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well.