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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Iran, US trade blame on intentions to return to nuclear deal

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The US said it is in talks with allies to kickstart stalled talks.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said US President Joe Biden could issue an “executive order” if he was serious about restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran’s state-owned newspaper reported on Sunday.

“It is enough for Biden to issue an executive order tomorrow and they [US] announce they are rejoining the pact from the point where his predecessor left the deal,” said Amirabdollahian, adding that there would be no need for negotiations.

Indirect nuclear negotiations between the US and Iran kicked off in April this year in Vienna in efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA]. The inconclusive talks paused in June this year following the sixth round and ahead of the Iranian presidential elections, which saw the victory of President Ebrahim Raisi.

However, Tehran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said last week that talks will resume by the end of November. This came following “preparatory” talks in Brussels between the Iranian official and EU nuclear negotiator Enrique Mora.

Iran says Vienna talks to resume ‘before end of November’

Several Iranian officials have also been expressing there hope in seeing “result-oriented talks” that would lead to the lifting of crippling US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

When former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, he imposed stifling economic sanctions on Iran in a bid to apply “maximum pressure” on the rival country. In turn, Iran began breaching its nuclear commitment by enriching uranium at its highest level.

Tehran has long defended its decision by maintaining its nuclear programme is peaceful.

“Washington wants to continue a large part of the sanctions imposed by Trump on Iran. This is unacceptable for Iran,” Amirabdollahian told the Iranian daily.

On Friday, the US issued sanctions on an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps drone programme, saying unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV’s] were used to conduct attacks on US forces and international shipping in the Gulf region.

Meanwhile Washington’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the US was “absolutely in lock step” with Britain, Germany and France on getting Iran back into the JCPOA.

Speaking to CNN, Blinken suggested the restoration of the nuclear accord would become a reality if Tehran was willing to engage in talks in “a meaningful way”.

“All of our countries, working by the way with Russia and China, believe strongly that that would be the best path forward,” said Blinken.

Russia’s representative at the talks Mikhail Ulyanov said the statement seemed to be “a positive development in the right direction”.

“As I have already mentioned in one of my previous tweets. It can become a good basis for finding appropriate language in an agreement on restoration of the JCPOA at the ViennaTalks,” said Ulyanov.


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