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Iran still says it believes nuclear talks can lead to deal

Iran said on Tuesday it still believed negotiations could be successful in reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, despite a recent rebuke from the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

Last week, Tehran called “unconstructive” the decision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to censure the country for refusing to cooperate on its nuclear program.

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It also disconnected some of its cameras at nuclear sites, a move the IAEA said could deal a “fatal blow” to negotiations to revive the nuclear deal.

“We believe that negotiations and diplomacy are the best ways to reach the end point of the agreement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal. Bhutto Zardari in Tehran.

Talks began in April last year to bring the United States back into the historic deal, after President Donald Trump pulled out in 2018 and left it hanging by a thread.

The talks also aim to lift sanctions on Iran and bring it back into line with the nuclear commitments it made to world powers under the deal.

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But the always delicate dialogue has been at a standstill since March.

The IAEA Board of Governors on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning Iran for failing to adequately explain the previous discovery of traces of enriched uranium at three sites that Tehran had not declared to have hosted nuclear activities.

Amir-Abdollahian said that before the IAEA’s decision, Tehran presented a new initiative which the United States accepted, adding that Washington nevertheless offered to submit the resolution censoring Iran.

But the Islamic republic will not abandon the negotiations, he said, adding that “contacts in diplomatic areas will continue” across the European Union.

Iran “will not stray from diplomacy and negotiations to reach a good, solid and lasting agreement”, noted Amir-Abdollahian.

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The deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), granted sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program to ensure it could not develop a nuclear weapon. , which Tehran has always denied wanting to do.

But the US pullout in 2018 prompted Iran to start backtracking on its own commitments under the pact.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that all steps the country has taken to reduce its obligations under the deal are “reversible”.

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