Iran nuclear deal

Iran says ‘ball in US’s court’ for revival of nuclear deal

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Iran said on Monday that the revival of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers depends on Washington, amid expectations that talks to save the pact will resume soon after the top EU diplomat's trip to the Islamic Republic.

“The ball is in Washington’s court now,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly televised news conference.

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Top Iranian security official Ali Shamkhani said in a meeting with the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrel on Saturday that Tehran will continue to develop its nuclear program until the West decides to change its “illegal behavior,” Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

“Iran’s retaliatory actions in the nuclear sector are merely legal and rational responses to US unilateralism and European inaction and will continue as long as the West’s illegal practices are not changed,” said Shamkhani.

Iran’s indirect talks with the US on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday amid a push by the EU to break a months-long impasse in the negotiations.

“We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said, adding that he had held a “long but positive meeting” with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The pact appeared close to being revived in March when the EU - which is coordinating negotiations - invited foreign ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration.

But the talks have since been bogged down, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

Former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

The US withdrawal and its reimposition of crippling sanctions prompted Iran to begin violating its core nuclear limits about a year later.
Western powers fear Iran is getting closer to being able to produce a nuclear bomb if it decided to, though Iran says its intentions are entirely peaceful.

With Reuters

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