Negotiations in Vienna will only be about lifting sanctions and not Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian officials continued to insist on Friday, three days before the planned resumption of talks.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Islamic, said the Vienna talks will not be about “nuclear issues,” but rather about America’s return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Iranian media reported, echoing remarks by other officials in recent weeks.
Separately, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country is reentering negotiations seeking the verifiable lifting of US economic sanctions.

Monday’s indirect talks between the United States and Iran, with the participation of major powers, aim at bringing the two countries into full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s uranium enrichment along with the gradual lifting of sanctions. Washington abandoned the accord in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.
The US and Iran negotiated from April to June towards that end, but Iran left talks ahead of its presidential election. The new government in Tehran, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, is even more anti-Western than its predecessor and less disposed towards returning to the agreement, and has repeatedly said it is only interested in having the US lift sanctions, as opposed to returning to Iran’s commitments under the 2015 deal. READ MORE

Iran insists Vienna talks not on nuclear issues days before meetings with US

Josh Toupos

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