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Iran says key issues unresolved in Vienna nuclear talks

Iran nuclear talks continue in Vienna
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at the Palais Coburg, site of closed nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Austria, February 28, 2022. REUTERS / Leonhard Foeger

February 28, 2022

By Parisa Hafezi and John Irish

VIENNA (Reuters) – Mrran on Monday said efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal could succeed if the United States makes a political decision to meet Tehran’s remaining demands, as months of negotiations entered what one Iranian diplomat called the “now or never” phase.

The stakes are high, as a failure in 10 months of negotiations could lead to the outbreak of a new regional war, harsher Western sanctions on Iran and continued pressure on Iran. with world oil prices already strained by the Ukraine conflict.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman identified the remaining issues as: the extent to which the sanctions will be rolled back, providing assurances that the United States will not abandon the treaty again, and addressing questions. about traces of uranium found at several old but undeclared sites in Iran.

All parties involved in the talks say progress has been made in restoring the treaty limiting Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions the United States abandoned in 2018. But both Tehran and Washington say there are still some significant differences. overcome.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference while saying that Western powers had not made a “political decision” on these three issues.

The French Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it was urgent to end the negotiations this week.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, who flew to Tehran last week for consultations on the final draft of the deal, met Enrique Mora of the European Union, who coordinates the negotiations. in Vienna, on Monday.

Two sources close to the negotiations said Iran had submitted new demands while remaining firm on existing demands, including the removal of a US foreign terrorist organization (FTO). designated against Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

One of the sources said: “Iran’s stance after Bagheri’s trip to Tehran became even more uncompromising. “Now they are firmly demanding the removal of sanctions against the IRGC and want to open up the agreed issues.”

Iran has previously said that removing the Guards from its terror list is under discussion. Iranian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The Guards are a powerful faction in Iran that controls the business empire as well as the armed forces and elite intelligence services. Washington’s appointment of the FTO in 2019 has caused more problems for the economy affected by Iran’s sanctions.

Tehran also insists the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rejects its claims about Tehran’s nuclear activities, opposing assertions last year by the United Nations Nuclear Watchdog that Tehran had not Full explanation of uranium traces at undeclared sites.

DECISION PHASE

Then-US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the treaty in 2018 and re-imposed tough economic sanctions. That made Iran breach the nuclear limits of the deal, which was designed to make it harder for Tehran to obtain fissile material for a nuclear bomb. Iran denies any such ambition.

Diplomats said the talks had entered a critical phase, given Iran’s zero-tolerance policy in the talks and other parties’ involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

“Now or never. If they cannot reach an agreement this week, the negotiations will fall apart forever,” said an Iranian diplomat in Tehran.

In Washington, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: “We are prepared to walk away if Iran proves difficult to make progress.”

Iran’s chief negotiator, Bagheri Kani, declined to comment on Price’s remarks.

The Russian and Chinese diplomats involved in the effort made hopeful, but ultimately ambiguous, assessments after leaving the luxury hotel in Vienna, where negotiations were taking place.

“We are very close, but additional efforts are needed in the coming days,” Russia’s Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters, predicting the talks. The hearings are due to end in early March but did not say whether they would be successful.

“It can be said that we have almost seen the light at the end of the tunnel,” China’s Wang Qun told reporters.

(Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris and Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis in Washington Writing by Parisa Hafezi and Arshad Mohammed Editing by William Maclean, Frank Jack Daniel and Cynthia Osterman)

https://www.oann.com/iran-says-three-key-issues-remain-unresolved-in-vienna-nuclear-talks/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=iran-says-three-key-issues-remain-unresolved-in-vienna-nuclear-talks Iran says key issues unresolved in Vienna nuclear talks

Bobby Allyn

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