Iran’s president says nuclear deal is possible if sanctions are lifted
TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday that an agreement with the United States on its nuclear deal with world powers is possible if sanctions against Iran are lifted, state television reported.
Raisi’s comments came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian signaled Iran’s willingness to engage directly with the United States in talks on the deal if needed to reach a deal. a satisfactory agreement.
“If the parties are ready to lift the oppressive sanctions, it is entirely possible that an agreement could be reached,” Raisi said during a live broadcast.
Iran and world powers have started a new round of nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, aimed at salvaging the tattered 2015 nuclear deal. The meetings include all of the deal’s remaining signatories – Iran, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.
The United States has only participated indirectly in the ongoing talks, as it pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-US President Donald Trump. He then reimposed crushing sanctions on Iran, and the Islamic Republic responded by increasing the purity of the uranium it enriches and its stockpiles, in violation of the agreement.
US President Joe Biden has made clear he wants to join the deal and the US has said it is ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program, a position it reiterated on Monday. .
“We have always maintained that it would be far more productive to engage directly with Iran on both [nuclear deal] negotiations and other matters,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
In 2018, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, banned any negotiations with the United States, saying talks with America would only harm Iran.
Earlier this month, however, Khamenei indirectly gave the Iranian negotiating team the green light to speak with the United States and said negotiating and interacting with the enemy did not mean surrender.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that talks with Iran over its nuclear program were at a “decisive moment” and warned that Washington and its allies could change tack if a deal is not reached. concluded in the coming weeks.
Blinken said the longer Iran fails to comply with the 2015 Vienna accord – intended to curb Tehran’s nuclear program – the closer it will come to the ability to build an atomic weapon.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful. But the country’s moves to back away from its obligations under the 2015 deal have alarmed Israel and other world powers.