Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Iran says nuclear talks with six powers to resume by end November

Following meeting with EU officials, top negotiator Ali Bagheri says exact date would be announced next week; statement comes days after U.S. envoy warned Washington to consider 'alternatives' to diplomacy

Reuters |
Published: 10.27.21, 20:00
Iran's talks with six world powers aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal will resume by the end of November, its top nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday, as Western concerns over the Islamic Republic's nuclear advances grow.
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  • "We agree to start negotiations before the end of November," Ali Bagheri Kani wrote on Twitter after meeting EU officials in Brussels. "Exact date would be announced in the course of the next week," he added.
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    המתקן הגרעיני בבושאר
    המתקן הגרעיני בבושאר
    Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant
    (Photo: EPA)
    Kani's statement comes days after the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, warned that there is a "deep and growing" concern about Iran's continued intransigence and refusal to commit to a date to resume the negotiations in Vienna - and that the U.S. is considering 'alternatives to the diplomatic path.'
    In April, Tehran and six powers started to discuss ways to salvage the 2015 nuclear pact, which three years ago then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned. Trump then reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran that have devastated its economy by squeezing its oil exports.
    But discussions about resuming the talks have been on hold since the election of Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, who is expected to take a tough approach if the talks resume in Vienna.
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    Robert Malley
    Robert Malley
    U.S. special envoy for Iran Robert Malley
    (Photo: AFP)
    Raisi, like Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wants results-oriented talks aimed at bringing Tehran and Washington back into full compliance with the pact.
    Tehran, for its part, has gradually breached the deal in response to Trump's presser, by rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up output.
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    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021
    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna as they try to restore the pact, April 17, 2021
    Members of 2015 Iran nuclear deal attending a meeting at the Grand Hotel of Vienna earlier this year
    (Photo: AFP)
    Western powers meanwhile have urged Iran to return to negotiations and said time is running out as Tehran's nuclear program advances well beyond the limits set by the deal.
    After six round of talks in Vienna, Tehran and Washington still disagree on which steps need to be taken and when, with the key issues being what nuclear limits Tehran will accept and what sanctions Washington will remove.
    "America's return to the deal does not matter to us. What is important is that the outcome of talks be in Iran's favor," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a televised news conference.
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    Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali khamenei (L) handing over the presidential precept to new Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (R), in Tehran, Iran
    Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali khamenei (L) handing over the presidential precept to new Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (R), in Tehran, Iran
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali khamenei (L) with Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi
    (Photo: EPA)
    He repeated Iran's demand for the release of its assets frozen because of U.S. sanctions.
    "(U.S. President Joe) Biden has to put his goodwill into practice by for instance releasing $10 billion of Iran's blocked assets," Amirabdollahian said.
    Iran has been unable to access tens of billions of dollars of its assets in foreign banks, mainly from exports of oil and gas, due to U.S. sanctions on its banking and energy sectors.

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