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Iran says its demands in nuclear talks 'reasonable'

By AFP - Jul 13,2022 - Last updated at Jul 13,2022

TEHRAN — Iran's president said Wednesday his country's demands were "reasonable" during negotiations to restore its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

"Iran has always acted completely rationally and put on the table reasonable demands," President Ebrahim Raisi said during a cabinet meeting, according to his official website.

He added that all of Iran's demands were made within the framework of the 2015 agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. 

Talks to revive the deal, following the withdrawal of the United States in 2018, began in Vienna in April 2021.

If successful, the renewed JCPOA will return Tehran to full compliance with its nuclear commitments in return for much-needed sanctions relief.

But negotiations have stalled since March, with several unresolved issues remaining between the US and Iran.

In late June, Qatar hosted indirect talks between the US and Iran in a bid to get the Vienna process back on track, but those discussions broke down after two days without breaching the impasse.

The US has accused Iran of raising issues "wholly unrelated" to the nuclear deal, an apparent reference to Tehran's demand that the US remove its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp from a terror blacklist.

Also on Wednesday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told reporters that the exchange of messages between the US and Iran is continuing through European Union mediation.

“Negotiations are going on as before through the exchange of messages” between Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, and between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri and EU coordinator Enrique Mora, Kanani said.

A new round of talks might be agreed upon, he added.

“I think the time and the location of the negotiations will be determined soon,” he added.

The JCPOA sought to guarantee Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon, something it has always denied wanting to do.

But the US unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018, under then-president Donald Trump, and reimposed biting economic sanctions, prompting Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

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