Iran nuclear deal

Top military aide to Iran’s Khamenei predicts US will rejoin nuclear deal

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A top military aide to Iran’s supreme leader said on Thursday he believed the US will ultimately capitulate and rejoin Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal.

“My prediction is that the US will give in and rejoin the JCPOA,” Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said, using the acronym for the formal name of the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Today, we make the decisions, and the Americans must listen,” Safavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

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The US and Iran have engaged for over a year in indirect talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 deal, which offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

The talks have stalled since March, reportedly over an Iranian demand to have the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) removed from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. The US had designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization under former President Donald Trump in 2019.

Trump withdrew Washington from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, saying the deal failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional activities and it did not block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, responded by expanding its nuclear program, breaching most of the deal’s restrictions.

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