US has to take decision to revive nuclear deal: Iran

Talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear pact face the prospect of collapse after a last-minute Russian demand forced world powers to pause negotiations for an undetermined time despite having a largely completed text.

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DUBAI: The United States needs to make a decision to revive the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.

Talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear pact face the prospect of collapse after a last-minute Russian demand forced world powers to pause negotiations for an undetermined time despite having a largely completed text.

“We are currently having a breather from the nuclear talks,” said Khatibzadeh.

“We are not at a point of announcing an agreement now since there are some important open issues that need to be decided upon by Washington.”

“As soon as we receive their decisions, we will be able to return to Vienna and reach a final agreement.”

Tensions have been rising since Iran attacked Iraq’s northern city of Irbil on Sunday with a dozen ballistic missiles in an unprecedented assault on the capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region that appeared to target the United States and its allies.

Iranian state media said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps carried out the attack against Israeli “strategic centers” in Irbil, suggesting it was revenge for recent Israeli air strikes that killed Iranian military personnel in Syria. Earlier, he EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted that the pause was “due to external factors,” despite the fact that “a final text is essentially ready and on the table.”

The current round of negotiations started in late November between Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia, with the US taking part indirectly.

They had reached most of the way toward their aim — the revival of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which began unraveling when former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

However, last week Russia said it was demanding guarantees that the Western sanctions imposed on its economy following its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its trade with Iran.

As with the original JCPOA in 2015, Moscow had been expected to play a role in the implementation of any fresh deal, for example by receiving shipments of enriched uranium from Iran.

After he withdrew from the JCPOA, Trump went on to reimpose swingeing sanctions on the Iranian economy, including on its vital oil sector.

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