Iran hints at possible nuclear talks at UN

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

After multiple US officials said that agreement is still not possible despite long negotiations between European mediators, Iran indicated it will consider holding a meeting with other world powers to review the renewal of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Nasser Kanaani, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry spoke about a possible meeting Monday. He said that there were several days at the UN General Assembly in New York City which could offer an opportunity to Iranian officials to meet other negotiators.

“Ali Bagheri Kani, the chief nuclear negotiator, will be present at 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 regarding the nuclear deal.”

The FM spokesperson said that any direct discussions with US officials was impossible, but he did suggest that talks with European intermediaries may be held on the UNGA sidelines, since foreign negotiators are known to have been ferrying proposals between Washington, Tehran, and other countries for several months.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with journalist prior to board a plane to travel to Brussels ahead of a meeting with NATO counterparts.
Blinken voices concerns over Iran nuclear deal

These talks have not produced an agreement so far. Trump was the US’s former president. In 2018, Trump unilaterally pulled out from the nuclear agreement. After imposing previous sanctions, he added new penalties. Iran has long pressed for sanctions relief, conditioning any return to the nuclear pact on the lifting of the economic penalties, though other issues – such as the blacklisting of Tehran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – have complicated the discussions. 

Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State) stated that Iran’s focus was on last week. “extraneous issues”And accused the country to taking “a step backward”In the negotiations, he added that any close-team deal was “unlikely.”Recent comments by other officials also reflect similar pessimism. Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, stated in August that Iran was “making” “unacceptable demands.” 

Kanaani maintained that, despite these charges, his country has never been absent from the negotiation table. He was also willing to work with the government to salvage the deal.

Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian president, stated that Tehran was willing to re-enter the nuclear agreement if Washington provided sufficient assurances that the deal would be maintained. “If it’s a good deal and fair deal, we would be serious about reaching an agreement.”

The UNGA Summit’s opening day saw the first round of general discussion at high level. It featured world leaders addressing the global body about a wide range of issues including economic problems, food security, and climate change.

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