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Iran nuke dialogue in decisive period: US

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US says Iran nuke dialogue in decisive period, Abdollahian urges guarantee on JCPA

VIENNA: Talks between Iran and western powers to revive the nuclear deal are nearing their conclusion, Iranian and US were raising hopes the agreement may soon be restored while Iran has urged the US Congress to issue a “political statement” that Washington will stay committed to a possible agreement in Vienna talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Washington, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the coming days would decide whether the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), can be restored.

“This is really the decisive period during which we’ll be able to determine whether a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is in the offing, or if it’s not,” Price told reporters on Wednesday using an abbreviation for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action –– the 2015 deal with world powers. 

Around the same time that Prince was delivering his remarks from the State Department, Kani wrote on Twitter, “After weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though.”

Also on Wednesday, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani said on Twitter that “after weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though.”

The Iranian diplomat also called on his negotiating counterparts in Vienna to avoid “intransigence” and learn from the past four years since former US President Donald Trump nixed the deal. “Time for their serious decisions,” he wrote.

The 2015 multilateral agreement saw Iran scale back its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions against its economy.

Earlier this month, Washington and Tehran resumed indirect talks in Vienna to restore the pact as part of an eighth round of negotiations.

Price on Wednesday renewed the US’s call for direct talks to salvage the accord.

“We have said for some time now that we would find direct negotiations in the context of Vienna to be to our advantage; it would be to the benefit of our attempts to seek to achieve or at least test the proposition of whether we can achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA,” he said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday urged the US guarantee on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in an interview with published on his ministry’s website.

“As a matter of principle, public opinion in Iran cannot accept as a guarantee the words of a head of state, let alone the United States, due to the withdrawal of Americans from the JCPOA,” he said. 

He stressed he had asked Iranian negotiators to propose to the Western parties that “at least their parliaments or parliament speakers, including the US Congress, can declare in the form of a political statement their commitment to the agreement and return to the JCPOA implementation.”

“Iran’s commitments are as clear as a mathematical formula,” said Amir-Abdollahian.

“It is absolutely clear what we are supposed to do and how these measures will be verified” through the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, he said, adding that the other parties must have “no concern”.

“But we remain concerned primarily about the guarantees” from the US side, he noted, adding that “we are facing problems during this period because the other party lacks a serious initiative”.

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