Tuesday, September 27, 2022

US should abandon Trump’s approach to nuclear talks: Iran

Iran on Wednesday warned the US to abandon the “Trump method” after both sides began indirect talks to revive the nuclear deal that was torpedoed by the former US president.

But Iranian officials said they were expecting progress in talks in Qatar, which come after international meetings to return to the deal.

Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in 2015 in exchange for sanctions relief, before US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal three years later.

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“We are hopeful that we can reach a positive and acceptable agreement if the United States abandons Trump’s approach,” said Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori-Zahromi.

He described the “Trump Method” as a “non-compliance with international law and previous agreements and a disregard for the legal rights of the Iranian people”.

The indirect talks – with rival delegations sending messages to each other from different parts of the same hotel – come just two weeks before US President Joe Biden makes his first official visit to the region, with Iran high on his agenda.

Alex Watanka, director of the Iran program at the Washington-based Middle East Institute think tank, said rising oil prices and a lack of spare capacity could also create an opportunity for Tehran to lift sanctions on Iranian crude.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdullahian said Iran was ready for a deal in Doha but would not cross its “red line”.

“We are serious” in his desire to finalize a deal, he insisted, adding that his country would not back down from “red lines”.

“If the US side has serious intentions and is realistic, then an agreement is available at this stage and in this round of negotiations,” he was quoted by IRNA state news agency.

IRNA has previously described the “red lines” as lifting all sanctions related to the nuclear deal, creating a mechanism to verify that they have been lifted, and ensuring that the US deals with Don’t back down.

The indirect talks, chaired by US special envoy Robert Mali and Iran’s Ali Bagheri, come more than a year after EU-mediated talks in Vienna on a return to the 2015 accord.

The deal gave Iran relief in exchange for sanctions on its nuclear program to guarantee that Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon – something it has always denied willingness to do.

It has been hanging by a thread since 2018, when Trump unilaterally withdrew from it and began imposing harsh economic sanctions on America’s arch-enemy.

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Nation World News Desk
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