Iran says deal ‘closed’ in N-talks – Newspaper

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TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday that an agreement was “close” in stalled talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Iran has engaged in negotiations to revive the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China directly, and the United States indirectly.

“We are close to an agreement in the negotiations,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to a ministry statement.

The Iranian and American delegations in Vienna do not communicate directly, but the messages pass through other participants and through the European Union, the coordinator of the talks.

“We conveyed our proposals on the remaining issues to the US side through the EU’s chief negotiator, and now the ball is in the US court,” added the head of Iranian diplomacy.

According to the Iranian statement, António Guterres stressed the importance of the Vienna talks and expressed hope that the parties will reach an agreement as soon as possible.

Nearly a year of negotiations brought the parties closer to renewing the landmark 2015 deal. But talks broke down last month after Russia demanded guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine would not harm its trade with Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said that Moscow had received the necessary guarantees from Washington on trade with Iran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action granted sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program to ensure Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon – something it has always denied wanting to do.

Posted in Dawn, April 4, 2022

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