Iran says it’s ready for further talks with US on nuclear deal

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UNITED NATIONS — Iran said on Thursday it was ready for further indirect talks with the United States to overcome remaining hurdles to reviving its tattered 2015 nuclear deal with major powers amid a crisis growing on the country’s atomic program.

Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told the UN Security Council that “the Iranian negotiating team is ready to engage again constructively to conclude and reach an agreement” .

“The ball is in the United States’ court, and if the United States acts realistically and shows its serious intention to implement its obligations, the agreement is not out of reach,” he said. he adds.

Ravanchi’s remarks came a day after indirect talks between Iran and the United States ended in Qatar after failing to make meaningful progress. Still, Ravanchi described the talks with Qatar as “serious and positive”.

He said Iran would contact European Union coordinators “for the next stage of the talks.”

During intensive consultations with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Tehran last week, “Iran once again underlined its readiness to provide creative solutions to the remaining problems in the hope of break the deadlock,” Ravanchi said.

He spoke at a Security Council meeting on the UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal and its five permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, Britain Britain and France – and Germany. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal, known as the JCPOA, raising tensions across the Middle East and triggering a series of attacks and incidents. .

President Joe Biden’s administration has been pushing to renew the deal, which put curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which Iran insists it won’t never received.

The State Department said after this week’s talks in Doha that Iran “has raised issues unrelated to the JCPOA and is apparently not ready to make a fundamental decision on whether to relaunch the JCPOA. ‘deal or bury it’.

Before Ravanchi spoke, US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills told the council that the US “remains committed to a mutual return to full implementation” of the JCPOA.

Mills said the United States had been prepared for months to reach a deal based on agreements brokered in Vienna in March, “but we can only reach a deal and implement it if Iran drops its additional demands that do not fall under the JCPOA. ”

The Vienna talks have been on “pause” since March. And since the collapse of the deal, Iran has been using advanced centrifuges and rapidly growing stockpiles of uranium enriched to 60% purity, a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

However, Tehran continues to suffer from intense economic sanctions while the West again hopes to reduce its nuclear program.

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