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Iran says US must lift sanctions from 1,500 Iranians to fix nuclear deal

Published: Updated:

The U.S. must remove sanctions designations for some 1,500 individuals as part of efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said in an interview with the state-run ICANA news agency.

Araghchi didn’t give more details but Sunday’s comments are in line with Iran’s demands that the U.S. lift both the sanctions it reimposed on the Islamic Republic after then President Donald Trump abandoned the landmark agreement and hundreds of more penalties added by his administration.

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Diplomats will convene in Vienna for a third consecutive week from Monday to try to salvage Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers as time runs down on an interim monitoring agreement between Tehran and United Nations inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Araghchi’s comments followed a meeting he had with Iran’s majority-hardline parliament about progress in the talks. Many lawmakers oppose President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to resurrect the deal and have tried to influence the negotiations. Arghchi didn’t comment about the outcome of that meeting.

Earlier on Sunday the head of the chamber’s National Security Commission, Mojtaba Zolnour, said he was leading efforts to prevent the restoration of the nuclear agreement without full parliamentary approval and said lawmakers must be present in the Vienna meetings, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The European Union will chair the talks in Vienna, where envoys are trying to synchronize a U.S. return to and Iranian compliance with the 2015 agreement. After Trump jettisoned the accord and unilaterally imposed punishing sanctions on Iran, Tehran’s government ramped up its nuclear capacity and production of enriched uranium.

Araghchi said the sequencing of the U.S.’s return to the accord and Iran’s return to full compliance with its terms, which is the subject of crucial multilateral talks involving both countries in Vienna in the week ahead, won’t involve a “step by step format and will be in line with the Islamic Republic’s demands.

Read more:

US lays out elements of sanctions relief for Iran to revive nuclear deal: WSJ

Iran sees Vienna talks moving forward, warns against excessive demands

More ‘hard work’ needed to get Iran nuclear deal back on track: EU diplomat

US says there have been positive talks with Iran, but 'long road ahead' before deal