A state-affilliated website in Iran has admitted that Russia and China have “convinced Iran to drop some of its maximalist demands” in the Vienna nuclear talks.

Nour News which is affiliated with the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani, made the admission in an editorial Sunday headlined “Why Russia and China’s Assistance To Iran Is Misrepresented by Media”.

Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian envoy to the talks, said this week that Russia and China convinced Iran to drop some of its “maximalist demands” and that Iran has accepted to negotiate on the basis of the text drawn up during earlier rounds of talks conducted by the Rouhani administration in the spring.

“[The media] present [Ulyanov’s] statement, which is true, in a manner that causes a wrong interpretation by its audience,” Nour News wrote referring to Ulyanov’s revelations. Nour News also admitted that the text being negotiated is the same text previously agreed on — which Tehran’s new negotiating team at first insisted had been dropped – but said the new proposals have been incorporated into it.

“One of the cases that erroneously forms part of these controversies is the claim that the Iranian [negotiation] team is being led by the Eastern bloc, particularly Russia, in the talks”, the editorial said while claiming that it is in fact Iran that has managed to encourage Russia to work alongside Iran and “pave the way to a good deal”.

Tehran presented two new documents with new demands on November 29 when the Vienna talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reconvened. European sides to the JCPOA – France, Germany, and Britain – rejected the move saying that Iran had gone back on all the progress made during April-June negotiations. US officials claimed that even Russia and China had been disappointed with Iran’s action.

The Nour News editorial accused political rivals of fueling controversies over the role of Russia and China to overshadow upcoming visits to Moscow and Beijing by President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. They want to weaken the Raisi administration’s ” grand strategy of Looking to the East” to prove that Iran must align itself with the West, the website said.

The policy of relying on Asia or the East, particularly China and Russia, was promulgated by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2018, with the catchphrase, “Looking East”. Since then, his hardliner followers have made it one of the centerpieces of a ‘revolutionary economy’.

Meanwhile, in an editorial Sunday entitled “Excessive Demands of the US in Vienna”, the official news agency (IRNA) said the United States is hampering the talks despite “recent progress and acceptance of Iran’s demands of verifying the lifting of sanctions and assurance that the US will not renege from the nuclear deal again”. US officials are reintroducing demands not related to the JCPOA and causing slowness in the talks, the website claimed, but did not mention any specific announcements by Washington.

“Bringing up issues such as the Islamic Republic’s missiles and regional activities, particularly during [nuclear] talks, shows that Washington is trying to achieve its non-JCPOA aims through the nuclear talks,” IRNA wrote and alleged that Western powers are using the media to exert pressure on Iran.

Source » iranintl