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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Iran will join nuclear talks again, said lead negotiator

CAIRO – Iran will rejoin international negotiations to limit its nuclear program before the end of November, its deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator said Wednesday, raising hopes that talks, suspended since June by the election of a tough Iranian president, could be renewed.

Official Ali Bagheri Kani, said on twitter that Iran agreed to resume negotiations on the resumption of the 2015 nuclear deal after a “very serious and constructive dialogue” with Enrique Mora, the negotiator from the European Union. Mr Bagheri Kani met Mr Mora in Brussels this week to find his way back to the negotiating table.

The exact date for the new talks will be announced within a week, Bagheri Kani wrote. But he did not say who would be in attendance, leaving open the question of whether the United States, which is at odds with Tehran on the terms of the talks, would participate.

There was no immediate reaction from the Biden administration, which tried to resume engagement with Iran on its nuclear program.

Negotiations ended after Iran’s presidential elections in June, won by ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi, after his most powerful opponents, including more moderate ones, were barred from running. He replaced the president who was negotiating a 2015 deal with the United States and European powers.

The agreement, signed by the Obama administration, called on Iran to limit uranium enrichment for 15 years to prevent the development of nuclear weapons, in exchange for lifting harmful economic sanctions. President Donald Trump re-imposed sanctions in 2018 in the hope that the strangulation of Iran’s economy will again force him to negotiate more restrictive terms.

Previous Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected in the hope that the deal could open up Iran’s economy, offering new opportunities and a better life for a population that has lived under some form of Western sanctions for decades. But after Mr Trump backed out of the deal, Mr Rouhani’s approach was widely discredited even among moderate Iranians who supported the deal with the West.

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When the Biden administration tried to reopen negotiations this year, the prospects for a new deal were already in doubt. Iran has already enriched uranium well above the limits set in 2015, and experts said it has made irreversible progress in nuclear technology.

In addition, the new government has a keen distrust of the United States and its European partners, and Iranian officials question whether their American counterparts can be trusted not to back down on any new deal, as they did with the original deal.

“The new government is full of officials who are extremely skeptical of Washington and doubt that the original agreement was worth it, let alone an updated version,” said Henry Rome, an analyst at Eurasia Group.

Mr. Raisi, who took office in August, ran for president promising a much tougher stance toward the West. He said he would only move forward on the nuclear talks if the United States first returned to fulfilling its end of the deal by lifting Mr Trump’s sanctions.

In a previous tweet, Mr. Bagheri Kani said: “Iran is determined to engage in negotiations that will fully and effectively lift illegal and brutal sanctions, normalize trade and economic relations with Iran, and provide reliable guarantees for no more rejections.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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