Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed on Thursday not to compromise regarding Iran’s interests, a day after the resumption of nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers on Nov. 29 was announced.

“The negotiations we are considering are result-oriented ones. We will not leave the negotiating table … but we will not retreat from the interests of our nation in any way,” he said, according to Reuters.

The sixth round of negotiations in Vienna over a possible return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action wrapped up in June, and a seventh round was delayed by Iran’s presidential elections on June 18.

The United States pulled out of the JCPOA unilaterally in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions lifted by the accord. The Trump administration cited as its reason the agreement’s failure to adequately prevent future Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons or address Iran’s ballistic-missile program and destabilizing actions in the Middle East.

Under U.S. President Joe Biden, the United States has been looking to rejoin the agreement, but Tehran and Washington disagree on key issues, such as what limitations on its nuclear program Iran will accept and what sanctions America will remove.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator announced on Wednesday the resumption of talks “aiming at removal of unlawful & inhumane sanctions.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price welcomed the Iranian announcement during his daily briefing on Wednesday, saying, “We believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance … by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June when the sixth round concluded.”

Back in September, U.S. Special Representative to Iran Robert Malley said that Iran’s position when it returned to the negotiating table was more important than the resumption of talks.

“It’s important to come back to talks as soon as we can, but the main point is, when we come back to talks—if we do, if Iran is prepared to do so, because we are—what is going to be the position of the Iranian government? Are we going to have a realistic position, in which both sides are prepared to make the necessary compromises for a mutual return to the JCPOA?” he said.

“We’ve said we’re prepared to lift those sanctions that are inconsistent with the [JCPOA] and to do that if Iran reverses those nuclear steps that are inconsistent with the deal. If that’s the approach we take, we should be able to reach a deal relatively quickly. But if Iran is asking more of the U.S. than is provided in the deal, or is prepared to do less than it is committed to in the deal, then it doesn’t matter whether we resume the talks yesterday, today or in three months. We will hit an impasse,” he added.

Separately on Thursday, crowds gathered across Iran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in the city, with some chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and burning American and Israeli flags.

In a televised speech to mark the occasion, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander in chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that U.S. pressure on Iran had failed.

“The Americans have used all means, policies and strategies to [defeat] the Iranian nation … but the Islamic Republic has become stronger,” said Salami, according to Reuters.


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