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Sunday November 27, 2022

Iran denies making demands beyond nuclear deal

By AFP
July 07, 2022

TEHRAN: Iran’s foreign minister said on Wednesday his country is making no demands outside the parameters of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, as efforts to revive the hobbled agreement faulter.

The US has during latest indirect negotiations accused Iran of raising issues "wholly unrelated" to the nuclear deal -- an apparent reference to a demand by Tehran that the US remove its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp from a terror blacklist.

"We have no requirement which goes beyond the nuclear agreement -- contrary to certain claims by the American party in the media," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters in Tehran.

"Our request is part of the 2015 agreement," he added, appearing alongside his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. The US walked out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 under then president Donald Trump, who proceeded to reimpose biting sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to step away from many of the nuclear commitments it made under the accord.

Iran has held direct talks with remaining parties to the deal -- and indirect talks with the US -- since last April in a bid to restore the deal, but those negotiations have been at an impasse since March.

Qatar last week hosted indirect talks in Doha in a bid to get the Vienna process back on track, but those discussions broke up after two days without any breakthrough. "During the recent talks in Doha, one of the main questions we focused on was an effective guarantee from Washington assuring us of economic advantages linked to the agreement," Amir-Abdollahian said.

"The United States must commit to Iran being able to capitalise on the full benefits of the 2015 deal. So far, the US side has not been able to assure us" of that, he added. The US has accused Iran of “backtracking” in the negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, blaming the Islamic Republic for the lack of progress made at recent talks in Doha.

Washington’s special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, said in an interview on Tuesday that Iran had rejected the latest proposal, backed by the European Union, to revive the beleaguered accord.

The US State Department’s spokesman, Ned Price, later said that Tehran was making “extraneous demands” that showed it wasn’t serious.On Wednesday Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, denied his country was making excessive demands that went beyond the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally known.

Iran told the US that it “must remove anything that hinders Iran’s economic interests” and was still determined to reach a “good agreement,” Amirabdollahian said at a joint press conference with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who’s visiting Tehran.

Efforts to restore the nuclear agreement, which limited Iran’s atomic work in return for sanctions relief, are hanging by a thread. The contours of a deal were drawn at multi-party talks in Vienna but progress stalled in March as the US and Iran disagreed on whether and when to ease penalties not directly linked to the nuclear pact, which then-President Donald Trump exited in 2018.

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