The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020
The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020
Photo: AFP
The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020

Iran official upbeat over nuclear talks, top delegate cautious

Tehran's top negotiator says parties agreed on lifting sanctions and very optimistic about resolving 'remaining minor and practical cases', estimates 'will be able to reach the final solutions' within days

Reuters |
Published: 05.25.21 , 18:03
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday he was optimistic over Tehran reaching an agreement soon at talks with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, although Iran's top negotiator cautioned that serious issues remained.
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  • Iran and global powers have held several rounds of negotiations since April in Vienna, working on steps that Tehran and Washington must take on sanctions and nuclear activities to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.
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    The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020
    The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020
    The Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran in December 2020
    (Photo: AFP)
    "General agreements have been reached on major disputes. On the lifting of sanctions, the remaining cases are very minor, and given the negotiation process, we are optimistic about resolving the remaining minor and practical cases," Rabiei told a news conference streamed on a state-run website.
    Iran's top negotiator, Abbas Araqchi struck a more cautious stance in comments to state TV.
    "There are still serious and important issues that need to be resolved," he said. "Today we will start the negotiations again and we hope that during the few days of talks, G-d willing, we will be able to reach the final solutions."
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     Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi leaves after a JCPOA Joint Commission meeting in Vienna, Austria
     Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi leaves after a JCPOA Joint Commission meeting in Vienna, Austria
    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi leaves after a JCPOA Joint Commission meeting in Vienna, Austria
    (Photo: EPA)
    On his way to the talks, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Twitter: "The latest round of talks was constructive and saw meaningful progress. But much work still needs to be done."
    Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018, prompting Iran to steadily overstep the accord's limits on its nuclear program designed to make it harder to develop an atomic bomb - an ambition Tehran denies.
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    Diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran at the start of talks on a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal, at the Grand Hotel in Vienna
    Diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran at the start of talks on a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal, at the Grand Hotel in Vienna
    Diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran at the start of talks on a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal, at the Grand Hotel in Vienna
    (Photo: AFP)
    Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions on oil, shipping, petrochemicals, insurance and the central bank had been dealt with in the talks, though European diplomats said success was not guaranteed and very difficult issues remained.
    U.S. sanctions are likely to be a major issue in campaigning for Iran's presidential election on June 18.
    State TV reported on Tuesday that Iran's election watchdog had approved the candidacy of hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi in the election. Hardliners say Washington cannot be trusted to respect any nuclear accord.
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