Iran Says US ‘Imposing New Conditions’ in Nuclear Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Maxim SHEMETOV POOL/AFP
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Maxim SHEMETOV POOL/AFP
TT

Iran Says US ‘Imposing New Conditions’ in Nuclear Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Maxim SHEMETOV POOL/AFP
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Maxim SHEMETOV POOL/AFP

Iran's foreign minister said Sunday that Washington is "imposing new conditions" in the negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement.

"On the issue of lifting sanctions, they (the Americans) are interested in proposing and imposing new conditions outside the negotiations," state news agency IRNA quoted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying.

"In the last two or three weeks, the American side has made excessive demands that contradict some paragraphs of the text," he added, AFP reported.

Iran has been engaged for a year in negotiations with France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China directly, and the United States indirectly in the Austrian capital to revive the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"The Americans keep talking about the need for direct negotiations, but we have not seen the benefit of direct talks with the United States," Amir-Abdollahian said.

The 2015 agreement gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program to guarantee that Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon -- something it has always denied wanting to do.

But the US unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and the reimposition of biting economic sanctions prompted Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

"We seek the lifting of sanctions, but with dignity and with a lasting agreement," the foreign minister said, adding that "Iran has stood and will stand by its red lines".

The Vienna negotiations aim to return the United States to the nuclear deal, including through the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and to ensure Tehran's full compliance with its commitments.

They have been paused since March 11 after Russia demanded guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its February 24 invasion of Ukraine would not damage its trade with Iran.

Days later, Moscow said it had received the necessary guarantees.

"During my visit to Moscow, we agreed with the Russian side that if we reached an agreement in Vienna, Russia would not be an obstacle," Amir-Abdollahian said.

"We were close to concluding technical discussions with the three European countries, but at the same time we faced the crisis and the war in Ukraine," he added.

Talks had progressed most of the way toward reviving the deal, with different parties pointing to the "final phase", but pending issues are still unresolved.

Among the key sticking points is Tehran's demand to delist the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of Iran's military, from a US terror list.



Netanyahu Receives Warning from Panel Probing Submarine Purchase 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2024. (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2024. (AFP)
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Netanyahu Receives Warning from Panel Probing Submarine Purchase 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2024. (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2024. (AFP)

An Israeli commission investigating suspected wrongdoing in government purchases of submarines and missile boats from Germany issued a warning to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

The panel notified Netanyahu that based on evidence gathered thus far, it could ultimately determine that he had used his position as prime minister between 2009 and 2016 to greenlight the purchases without due process.

"By doing so, he (Netanyahu) endangered the security of the state and harmed the state of Israel's foreign relations and economic interests," said the panel in its written decision, made public on Monday.

Netanyahu in response said that the submarines were central to Israel's security "in ensuring its existence against Iran, which is trying to destroy us".

"History will prove that Prime Minister Netanyahu was right on this issue as well and made the right decisions for the security of Israel," the statement from his office said.

The commission, established under the previous government in 2022, said that it will soon publish unclassified parts of the evidence collected during the probe into the deal, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Netanyahu has struggled to salvage his security credentials since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas-led fighters, who killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages to Gaza according to Israeli tallies, the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

In the Israeli assault on Gaza that followed, more than 37,000 people have been killed according to Gaza health authorities.