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Iran nuclear deal

Iran ‘absolutely serious’ about nuclear talks, Raisi tells Putin

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Iran is “absolutely serious” about nuclear talks expected to resume late this month, its President Ebrahim Raisi told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is absolutely serious about the negotiations and we are equally serious about our people’s rights to have sanctions lifted,” Raisi said, according to a statement published on the presidency’s website.

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His remarks come one day after Tehran invited the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, to visit and meet Iran’s foreign minister, after the UN official expressed concern over lack of contact with Iranian officials.

Nuclear talks, which have been on hold since Raisi’s election in June, are set to resume in Vienna on November 29 in a bid to revive a 2015 deal that offered Tehran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear activity.

The deal was torpedoed when the US unilaterally pulled out of it in 2018 under the administration of president Donald Trump.

The other parties to the deal – Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France – will participate in the Vienna talks in the presence of European negotiator Enrique Mora.

The US will meanwhile take part in the negotiations indirectly.

According to a Kremlin statement, Putin expressed hopes “that the talks scheduled for late November will be constructive.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had called on the West not to make “excessive demands” on Tehran in the talks, in a call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov earlier this month.

In September, Lavrov called on the US to be “more active” in its approach to help resume the stalled nuclear talks, criticizing the sanctions on Iran.

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