Iran hints at possible nuclear talks at UN

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Washington recently accused Tehran of a “step backwards” after months of indirect discussions

Iran has said it would consider a meeting to discuss the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, after US officials suggested an agreement was still a long way off, despite protracted negotiations through European mediators.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani spoke on Monday about a possible meeting with world powers and said several days of events at the UN could provide an opportunity for Iranian officials to meet with other negotiators.

“Ali Bagheri Kani, the chief nuclear negotiator, will attend the…General Assembly as part of the delegation, but there is no specific plan to discuss the nuclear deal,” Kanaani said, but added: “However, I do not rule out the possibility of talks about the nuclear deal.”

While the State Department spokesman said there were no direct talks with US officials, he suggested talks with European intermediaries could take place on the sidelines of the UNGA as foreign negotiators have been making proposals between Washington and Tehran for several months. have transferred. So far, those talks have not led to an agreement.

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Shining out of concern over Iran nuclear deal

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, reimposing all previous sanctions and later introducing additional sanctions. Iran has long pushed for sanctions relief, with any return to the nuclear pact conditional on the lifting of economic sanctions, though other issues — such as the blacklisting of Tehran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – made the discussions more difficult.

Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran was focusing on: “strange problems” and accused the country of taking “one step back” in the negotiations, adding that every near-team agreement was “unlikely.” Similar pessimism has also been reflected in recent comments from other officials, with State Department spokesman Ned Price saying in August that Iran “unacceptable demands.” 

Despite those allegations, however, Kanaani insisted his country had never left the negotiating table and was still willing to find a way back to the deal.

In an interview with CBS broadcast on Sunday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reiterated that Tehran is willing to return to the nuclear deal as long as Washington provides sufficient guarantees that it would not withdraw from the deal again. “If it’s a good deal and a fair deal, we’d be serious about making an agreement.”

Tuesday kicked off the first day of a high-level general debate at the UN, where world leaders addressed a range of issues, from food security and the conflict in Ukraine to climate change and economic problems.

READ MORE: Iran sees no difference between Biden and Trump



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