Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday that some of his foreign counterparts tried to carry messages from the US side to Iran and vice versa over the past months among whom was the Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein who carried a message from the US to Iran.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRNA correspondent to New York, Amirabdollahian also touched upon a meeting in New York between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his French counterpart Emanuel Macron, where he said the French president raised his viewpoints about the issues which he believed could help the progress of talks between Iran and world powers.
He noted that the two presidents also exchanged views on the war in Ukraine, the regional developments and bilateral issues.
On the resolve on the US side for reaching a deal, the Iranian foreign minister said that the American side talks about goodwill but what is important for Iran is how this goodwill is translated on the ground.
Iran is determined to reach a good, strong and durable deal and will spare no effort in this regard, the Iranian foreign minister said, adding that now it is the US turn to show whether it is courageous enough to take the necessary decisions.
On the long course of talks with the Western sides and indirect talks with the American side, Amirabdollahian said that the thing important is that Iran has not negotiated for the sake of negotiations, rather it has been negotiating to reach a point where the removal of the sanctions are ensured and the country can benefit from the economic interests of a 2015 nuclear deal.
Noting that both sides have had enough negotiations, he said that now the ball is in the US court to make a decision.
“Reaching a deal is important but the implementation of the deal is more important if a durable deal is reached, even the next [US] administration, no matter from which party it may be, will have to respect that.”
When asked to comment on plans for a prisoner swap between Iran and the United States, the Iranian foreign minister said that the American side insisted to tie the issue to the Vienna talks on the removal of sanctions.
He said that the US even sought to make a prisoner swap between the two countries part of a deal that has been under negotiations for several months in Vienna but Iran does not insist on such a mechanism and is ready to extradite the prisoners with the US as a humanitarian measure whenever the US side is ready to do so.
As a new round of negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is scheduled to begin in Iraq soon, the foreign minister was asked whether a thaw of relations between Tehran and Riyadh is subject to brokering a deal between Iran and the West or it is pursued independently.
Amirabdollahian said that Iran sees no link between regional cooperation and the talks on the removal of sanctions on Tehran.
He even added that Iran’s relations with a number of regional Arab countries which had been cut off as a result of icy relations between Tehran and Riyadh were restored over the past few weeks so that these countries sent back their ambassadors to the Iranian capital.
Whenever Saudi Arabia is ready to reopen its embassy in Iran and resume normal relations with the country, Tehran would welcome that, the foreign minister said, noting that the talks between the two countries are underway to reach this point.