Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that "talks are on the agenda, but not talks for the sake of talks, or negotiations for the sake of negotiations".

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during an interview with an Iranian TV channel on September 4, 2021.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during an interview with an Iranian TV channel on September 4, 2021. (AFP)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said Iran was ready to hold talks with world powers to revive its 2015 nuclear accord but not under Western "pressure", adding Tehran was seeking negotiations leading to a lifting of US sanctions.

"The Westerners and the Americans are after talks together with pressure ... I have already announced that we will have talks on our government's agenda but not with ... pressure," Raisi said in a live interview with state television on Saturday.

"Talks are on the agenda ... We are seeking goal-oriented negotiations ... so sanctions on the Iranian people are lifted," Raisi said.

France and Germany have urged Iran to return to negotiations after a break in talks following Iranian elections in June, with Paris demanding an immediate restart amid Western concerns over Tehran's expanding atomic work.

Last month, France, Germany and Britain voiced concern about reports from the UN nuclear watchdog confirming Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20 percent fissile purity for the first time and lifted production capacity of uranium enriched to 60 percent.

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, that it has informed the watchdog about its activities, and that its moves away from the 2015 deal would be reversed if the United States returned to the accord and lifted sanctions.

READ MORE: Is a restoration of the Iran nuclear deal becoming increasingly unlikely?

Stalled talks

Biden has said he wants to reintegrate Washington into the pact, but talks in Vienna that began in April have stalled since the ultra-conservative Raisi won Iran's presidential election in June.

At the end of August, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Biden's administration of making the same demands as his predecessor in talks to revive the accord.

And on Tuesday, Iran's new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian suggested that the Vienna talks would not resume for two or three months.

READ MORE: Stalled nuclear talks may not resume for another two-three months: Iran

Raisi said Saturday that "talks are on the agenda, but not talks for the sake of talks, or negotiations for the sake of negotiations".

"In these talks, we seek to obtain the lifting of oppressive sanctions," he added. "We will not give in on the interests of the great Iranian nation."

READ MORE: Is a restoration of the Iran nuclear deal becoming increasingly unlikely?

US sanctions

Tehran is demanding all sanctions imposed or reimposed on it by the US since 2017 be lifted.

On Friday, the US Treasury announced sanctions against "four Iranian intelligence operatives" it said were involved in a campaign against Iranian dissidents abroad.

According to a US federal indictment in mid-July, the intelligence officers tried in 2018 to force American-Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad's Iran-based relatives to lure her to a third country to be arrested and taken to Iran to be jailed.

When that failed, they allegedly hired US private investigators to monitor her over the past two years.

Iran in July called the American charges "baseless and absurd", referring to them as "Hollywood scenarios".

Source: TRTWorld and agencies