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‘No major obstacle’ to revival of nuclear deal, says Tehran, outcome of talks before inauguration of Iran’s new president likely

‘No major obstacle’ to revival of nuclear deal, says Tehran, outcome of talks before inauguration of Iran’s new president likely
Tehran’s spokesman has spoken positively about ongoing talks in Vienna that intend to bring Iran and the US back in line with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran expects a deal before the end of the Rouhani administration.

“There is no major obstacle to the negotiations on the revival of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and as mentioned earlier, there is a basic understanding of what the parties should do to return to the JCPOA agreement,” Ali Rabiei, the government’s spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday. 

He stated that, due to the complexities of the sanctions levied on Tehran by the US and Iran’s recent technological advancements in the field of nuclear science, it is “natural” that many details need to be considered. “But none of these obstacles is insurmountable, and with political will, these minor differences will end,” he added. 

Rabiei claimed that the June 18 presidential election would by no means have an impact on negotiations but said he expected an announcement from Vienna, where talks are taking place, before the end of the current administration.

Under normal circumstances and in the absence of public holidays on the day in question, the inauguration of the Iranian president takes place on August 5, coinciding with the anniversary of the historic issuance of the country’s constitutional decree. 

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“We should not let negotiations become protracted and we are not in a hurry as well. Negotiations have reached a point where a few key issues need to be decided, and these issues require the attention, obsession, and time,” he added. 

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said things had changed since the parties first gathered in 2013 to put constraints on Iran’s nuclear program in what was known as the Geneva interim agreement. “Our negotiations now are different from the ones in 2013. Now, Iran has the upper hand in negotiations,” he stated. 

The final agreement, the JCPOA, was signed in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US), plus Germany. However, former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in 2018, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran. Tehran further hollowed out the deal in 2021, vowing to increase its uranium enrichment to levels far above those allowed under the 2015 agreement. 

In April, Tehran stated it would enhance its uranium enrichment to 60% following an alleged Israeli attack on its Natanz nuclear facility. The figure is far higher than the 3.67% level agreed on in the 2015 pact but less than the 90% level that is considered weapons-grade. 

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