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US Reluctance to Lift All Sanctions Main Obstacle to Reviving 2015 Pact, Says Iranian Official

US Reluctance to Lift All Sanctions Main Obstacle to Reviving 2015 Pact, Says Iranian Official

Sunday, 5 December, 2021 - 11:00
European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, Austria June 20, 2021. EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via Reuters

The reluctance of the United Sates to lift all sanctions on Iran is the main challenge to reviving the 2015 nuclear pact, a senior Iranian foreign ministry official was cited as saying by Iranian media on Sunday.


Indirect talks between Washington and Tehran on reinstating their nuclear pact broke off on Friday, with both sides saying they would resume the following week, as Western officials voiced dismay at sweeping demands by Iran.


"It is now clear that Washington's reluctance to give up sanctions altogether is the main challenge to the progress of the talks," the unnamed official was quoted as saying by Iran's Tasnim news agency.


"We believe that a deal is within reach if the US government gives up its campaign of maximum pressure and the European parties show serious flexibility and political will in the talks."


Iran and major powers started talks in April aimed at bringing back Tehran and Washington into full compliance with the pact, which was abandoned by former US President Donald Trump three years ago.


But the talks stopped after the election of Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi in June.


A year after Trump's reimposition of harsh sanctions on Iran, Tehran began to gradually violate nuclear limits of the agreement.


Iran wants all sanctions imposed by the United States to be lifted in a verifiable process.


While stressing that the United States still wanted to revive the deal, under which Iran had limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions, a senior US State Department official said on Saturday time was running short.


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