Iran nuclear deal

Lift sanctions to dispel concerns over Iran nuclear program, Tehran tells West

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Iran’s top diplomat said on Thursday that if Western powers want their concerns over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program to be dispelled, they must lift all nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran.

“When [Western powers] say that they are concerned about the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, we say out loud that if you want your concerns to be dispelled, all JCPOA-related sanctions must be lifted,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahain said, using the acronym for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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Talks between the remaining signatories to the 2015 deal – Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain –resumed in Vienna in November after a five-month pause.

Amir-Abdollahian slammed France, Germany and the UK, saying they did not always play a constructive role in the negotiations and that they did not “show any new initiative in the negotiations.”

“In general, we did not see the position of some European countries, specifically France, as constructive. We hope that the French side will play a constructive role,” he said.

Amir-Abdollahian thanked Russia and China for their roles in the talks.

Iran is participating in the talks “in good faith and with seriousness,” he said, adding that Iran will not allow the other parties to “give one concession and get ten in return.”

The talks in Vienna will resume next Monday, officials said on Thursday.

The US is participating indirectly in the talks that aim to bring Iran back into compliance with the pact and facilitate a US return to the agreement.

Under the deal, Iran limited its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, reimposing sweeping sanctions on Tehran.

US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said Tuesday that there are only “some weeks left” before there will no longer be a nuclear deal to revive.

“If they (Iran) continue at their current pace, we have some weeks left but not much more than that, at which point, I think, the conclusion will be that there’s no deal to be revived,” Malley said.

Read more: Iran nuclear talks to resume next week: EU chair