Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Saturday his county has not left the Vienna talks and will not end its participation, asserting that his government seeks to secure the rights of the Iranian people through the deal.
Speaking at an event to mark Iran's Nuclear Technology Day, Raisi said his government follows the strategy outlined by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the nuclear program.
In a message directed at Western powers, the top conservative figure asserted that Iran's nuclear industry is peaceful in nature and nuclear weapons have no place in the country's "defense doctrine."
"The government considers it a duty not to back down from the rights of the people in the (nuclear) negotiations," Raisi told the audience made up of mostly officials from the nuclear industry.
The eighth round of talks in Vienna was suspended last month because of key sticking points between Tehran and Washington, including the de-listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The two sides have failed to resolve the outstanding issues, with Iran saying the ball is in the US court and the US saying the opposite.
Raisi, striking a defiant tone, said economic sanctions, assassinations of top nuclear scientists and sabotage of nuclear sites have failed to stop the country's nuclear progress.
Interestingly, his remarks came on the day Iran's Foreign Ministry updated the blacklist of US officials for alleged involvement in human rights violations.
In a statement, it said 24 individuals had been designated for their roles in unilateral coercive measures against the government and the people.
“The designated persons, as indicated, have played a role in supporting, organizing, imposing, and also intensifying the imposition of the United States’ unilateral coercive measures against the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Iran," it added.