Iran says progress made in nuclear talks but issues remain

An agreement clarifying the obligations of Tehran, Washington to move forward to be announced this week says diplomat

Reuters May 31, 2021
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Iran and six world powers have made significant progress in talks to revive their 2015 nuclear deal but important issues still need to be resolved, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

Iran and the powers have negotiated in Vienna since April to work out steps that Tehran and Washington must take on sanctions and nuclear activities to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.

Read: US says unclear Iran ready for nuclear pact return

"Each round of talks in Vienna could have been the final round. We should not rush. We have made significant progress but key issues remain," Saeed Khatibzadeh told a televised weekly news conference.

"There has been no stalemate on the Vienna talks."

After former US President Donald Trump ditched the deal three years ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran has been rebuilding stockpiles of low-enriched uranium, enriching it to higher levels of fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up production.

President Joe Biden has said Washington will return to the pact if Tehran first resumes compliance with its strict limits on uranium enrichment, a potential pathway to nuclear bombs.

Read more: IAEA says talks with Iran continue as monitoring deal set to expire

"All sanctions should be lifted and then it should be verified by Iran...then we will reverse our nuclear steps," Khatibzadeh said.

A regional diplomat, briefed by Western officials involved in the talks, said "an agreement that would clarify the obligations of Tehran and Washington to move forward" will be announced in Vienna this week.

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