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Iran nuclear deal

Iran closer than before to reaching nuclear deal with US, but issues remain: Official

Published: Updated:

Iran is closer than it has previously been to reaching a nuclear deal with the United States, a senior diplomat from Tehran said Thursday.

There has been “tangible progress” made during the first few rounds of negotiationgs with the US over a nuclear deal, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi was quoted as telling Qatar’s Al Jazeera.

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“But there are still primary issues we will negotiate on,” he noted.

US and Iranian officials have been indirectly meeting in Vienna for months to negotiate the now-defunct 2015 nuclear deal, which Washington withdrew from under former President Donald Trump.

Araghchi added: “Iran suffered during recent years due to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal. And we want assurances that what happened when Trump withdrew from the deal will not happen again under any future US president.”

After withdrawing the US from the deal, citing its weakness in reigning in Iran’s malign behavior, the Trump administration began a maximum pressure campaign on Tehran. This included crushing economic sanctions in a bid to curb Iran’s funding of terror networks and proxies around the world, as well as its nuclear program.

And with Iranian presidential elections set to take place this weekend, the Iranian official said it would have no impact on the ongoing negotiations in Vienna.

“We are negotiating [not based on domestic politics]; when we reach a good deal, we will agree on it. Or else there will be no deal, neither with the current government nor with the upcoming government,” he said.

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