Iran says nuclear talks not on hold
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal had not been suspended, despite reports that they had stalled.
At a press conference in Tehran, Said Khatibzadeh said that the negotiations relating to Iran, the European Union, China and Russia are over and that there are still outstanding issues between Iran and the United States. He added that the parties had agreed that the talks should continue.
Iran wants its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, but Washington is reluctant. In mid-March, some observers had hoped the US and Iran were close to announcing some type of deal, but as time ticked away, the sides didn’t even bother. closer to a provisional agreement..
Iran needs economic relief in the form of lifting sanctions to help deal with economic conditions in its country. US sanctions against Iran make it difficult for the country to sell its oil and also to conduct banking transactions. A return to the JCPOA would remove many obstacles to the sale of Iranian oil. With the initial deal signed in 2015, Iran had harbored hopes that lifting US sanctions would attract European investment into the country, but the exit of the Trump administration in 2018 dashed it. Even if Iran and the US agree to revive the JCPOA, there is no guarantee that the next US administration would not do the same.
Khatibzadeh said talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia are progressing. He did not discuss specifics but said the two countries took a two-month break before starting the ongoing fifth round of talks to settle regional disputes. Al-Alam News reported that the two sides were discussing regional issues, including security in the persian gulf.
The talks between Tehran and Riyadh are being facilitated by Iraqi and Omani officials, both of whom have reasons to want to ease tensions between the two countries. The latest meeting brought together representatives of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council as well as Saudi intelligence services. It was reported that if the talks continue to evolve positively, the next meeting could involve the foreign ministers of each country.