Iran’s foreign minister called on Saturday for the United States to make a “realistic response” to Iranian proposals during negotiations in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers in Tehran. This was reported by the Iranian state media.
Indirect negotiations in Vienna are entering their third day, but few expect the parties to reach a compromise today. Meanwhile, Iran continues its controversial uranium enrichment program.
State media reported that “Hossein Amirrab Lahian…stressed the need for a realistic US response to Iran’s constructive proposals on various issues for the success of the deal,” without providing details of those proposals.
Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington resumed in Vienna last Thursday with a meeting between the Islamic Republic’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, and the coordinator on behalf of the European Union, Enrique Mora.
There is little left of the 2015 agreement between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. These parties to the agreement pledged to lift sanctions on Tehran in return for a reduction in Iranian enrichment activities, which the West fears will produce atomic bombs.
In 2018, then US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement and again imposed tough sanctions. In response, Iran – which says its nuclear program is for power generation and other peaceful purposes – has violated the agreement in several ways, including by rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium.
Unexplained effects of uranium
Iranian media have indicated that the point of contention may lie in Iran’s refusal to address the alleged unexplained effects of uranium. This is required by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran believes that the agreement makes military applications of its nuclear program impossible by definition.
In June, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a resolution criticizing Iran for failing to explain traces of uranium found at undisclosed sites. Under the agreement, the regime in Tehran must disclose and open all sites with nuclear activities to oversight inspections. But a senior Iranian aide said that Iran is demanding a solution to the problem before there is talk of re-implementing the rules of the agreement.
European parties to the deal urged Iran on Friday “Not to make unrealistic demands outside the framework of the 2015 agreement”. The Europeans noted in the statement the importance of the security inspections carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran must make the decision now, while it still can.
In June, Reuters reported that Tehran had dropped a major point of contention: the demand to remove the Revolutionary Guards – Iran’s elite army – from the US sanctions list. The news agency relied on Iranian and European sources.
Raad, a senior Iranian official once again indicated that the issue might not be a sticking point anymore: “We have our own proposals that will be discussed in the talks in Vienna, such as the gradual abolition of sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards.”
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