Iran trades with US over pre-Trump nuclear deal issues
Iran and the United States are discussing issues with the world powers’ nuclear deal with Tehran that preceded the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018, a senior Iranian government official said, suggesting that negotiations to bring Washington back into the fold have become more complicated than before. known.
Mahmoud Vaezi, chief of staff to President Hassan Rouhani, said the United States had agreed in principle to lift all of the more than 1,000 economic sanctions that were reimposed and added by Donald Trump after his exit from the agreement, including including those on Iranian oil, petrochemicals, banking and the steel sectors. But broader trade sanctions against Iran’s financial sector that were not lifted under the pact scared off foreign investors and banks, preventing Tehran from enjoying many of the economic benefits it expected to derive from its deal. to curb its nuclear program.
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“At the moment, we are discussing the remaining sanctions related to the nuclear deal and those which concern before 2015,” Vaezi told reporters in Tehran, according to the Iranian Students News Agency. “In addition, it is now possible that some of the sanctions related to individuals and businesses before 2015 will remain in effect, and they are also negotiating on those,” he said.
Previously, Iran had said it was focused on removing Trump-era sanctions, so Vaezi’s comments may indicate that the scope of the negotiations has widened. Tehran has refused to change the deal to address US concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and military activities in the region.
Reactivating the deal would allow Iran to return to global oil markets in return for cutting back on controversial nuclear work and easing a standoff that has fueled military friction in the energy-rich Persian Gulf.
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In a separate statement, Vaezi also condemned the US Department of Justice for blocking on Tuesday three dozen news websites operated by the Iranian state broadcaster, including Press TV in English.
“This bogus US policy is not constructive while negotiations for a nuclear deal are underway,” Vaezi said. “Iran will certainly retaliate in case there are similar examples from their side in Iran.”
The United States said it seized the sites in retaliation for what it described as an attempt to influence the U.S. election.
The seizures add another element of tension to negotiations over the nuclear deal, which have entered particularly delicate territory. Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on nuclear inspections is set to expire on Thursday. And Rouhani, who led the deal on Iran’s side, will hand over the presidency to a hardline cleric – personally sanctioned by Trump – who was elected last weekend.
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A government spokesperson on Tuesday raised the possibility that talks to save the nuclear deal could extend beyond the end of Rouhani’s tenure in August.
Vaezi said there was an agreement with the United States to lift “a number of sanctions against individuals,” including people close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but he did not give details or whether it was Raisi.
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