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Friday, July 23, 2021

UN chief urges US to lift sanctions on Iran

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Earlier this week the US and France warned Iran that time is running to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to the Joe Biden administration to lift or waive all sanctions imposed on Iran as per the 2015 nuclear accord, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The news agency said that Guterres sent a report to the UN Security Council urging the US to “extend the waivers with regard to the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects.”

“I continue to believe that a full restoration of the plan remains the best way to ensure that the nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran remains exclusively peaceful,” said Guterres, who also urged Tehran to adhere to its nuclear obligations.

According to Reuters, the 15-member council will meet on Tuesday to discuss Guterres’ biannual report on the implementation of a 2015 resolution in efforts to reach a deal between Iran, the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.

The appeal comes amid ongoing indirect talks in Vienna between the US and Iran along with world powers involved in the nuclear accord.

Iran nuclear deal revival at risk as US, France warn time is ‘running out’

Since the talks kicked off in April this year, the first such meetings to take place between Tehran and Washington, parties involved in the deal have been reporting signs of progress towards the restoration of the JCPOA.

The two countries have already agreed to form two working groups to ensure that the US and Iran comply with their obligation in the deal.

But earlier this week, the US and France warned Iran that time is running to restore the the JCPOA, citing concerns over its atomic activities if talks are extended.

This came during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to France, the first high-level  visit by the Joe Biden administration to the European country.

In a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Blinken also said that the US still had “serious differences” with Iran.

Blinken also said Biden continues to support the revival of the JCPOA, which was thrown to the curb when the former Donald Trump administration withdrew from it in 2018.

On Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the restoration of the 2015 accord is possible, though warned Tehran “will not negotiate forever”.

“Out of a steadfast commitment to salvage a deal that the US tried to torpedo, Iran has been the most active party in Vienna, proposing most drafts,” tweeted Khatibzadeh, calling on the US to abandon Trump’s “failed” legacy.

Russia’s representative at the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov also believes the seventh round of the Vienna talks is likely to be successful.

“Chances to complete the Vienna talks on JCPOA successfully during the seventh round seem to be high but you never know for sure in advance” he tweeted on Friday.

“The negotiators aim at fulfilling their tasks without delay. However the quality of an outcome document comes first,” he added.

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