Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Iran, US talking via intermediary over nuclear deal: Iranian negotiator

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator says Iran and the US have been exchanging messages through an intermediary and that nuclear talks have not snagged.

Ali Baqeri told Lebanese Al-Manar that negotiations had been ongoing over the last year and a half, although at varying paces, according to a Persian translation of his remarks by Tasnim News Agency.

“Now, too, the negotiations are ongoing in the form of exchanges of messages between two people, and the sides are exchanging their viewpoints,” Baqeri said.

He said Iran and the US had no direct contact and an intermediary was taking messages to and fro. The intermediary, he said, is either a European country or a non-European one.

Iran has been negotiating with the US President Joe Biden administration since he came into office in 2021 over the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and originally six other nations. The US withdrew from that agreement under former President Donald Trump in 2018 and re-imposed anti-Iran sanctions.

While Iran has downgraded its own obligations under the deal, it has largely upheld the core of its commitments. The five other parties to the deal are France, Germany, the UK, China, and Russia.

Baqeri said Iran was seeking assurances that the US would not renege on its obligations again in the future once it has returned to compliance.

“Our main goal in these negotiations is the removal of the sanctions, and the removal of the sanctions has to be such that we and our people will be able to accrue economic benefits,” he said.

The removal of the sanctions, he stressed, should be permanent.

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