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Tehran Hints at Returning to Nuclear Talks Soon

Tehran Hints at Returning to Nuclear Talks Soon

Tuesday, 14 September, 2021 - 08:30
Iran’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Kazem Gharibabadi, and his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Ulyanov (Reuters)

In the wake of a partial understanding between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh hinted that Tehran would soon return to the Vienna negotiating table aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Despite saying that Tehran would go back to nuclear talks, Khatibzadeh asked other parties to have a “realistic” approach that matches “the facts on the ground,” implying that Iran’s enrichment of uranium has accelerated to reach 60%, a percentage close to that needed to develop nuclear weapons.

More so, Khatibzadeh refused to tell reporters at a press conference an exact date for resuming nuclear negotiations. He also did not give a date for the visit of the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, to Vienna.

Eslami is scheduled to hold discussions with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi within a few days.

“We expect other parties to come to Vienna with a realistic approach and consider realities on the ground,” Khatibzadeh told reporters.

Khatibzadeh said that Grossi’s recent visit to Tehran before the meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors “was within the framework of resolving issues.”

The spokesperson said that Tehran would maintain its “normal and technical” relations with the UN nuclear watchdog so long that it remains impartial towards Iran.

He warned the other parties against “impairing technical relations with political motives and issues” and said that “Iran will direct an appropriate response to this issue.”

Nuclear talks with Iran had stopped last June. Less than a month later, the conservative Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, took office.

Western powers urged Iran to return to the negotiating table, saying that time was running out, with the development of its nuclear program going beyond the restrictions contained in the agreement that Washington withdrew from in 2018.

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