Iran won’t engage in talks with US in Vienna

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi (L-R) pose for a photograph before resuming talks over Iran’s nuclear programme in Lausanne March 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (SWITZERLAND – Tags: POLITICS ENERGY)

Tehran, April 4 (IANS) Iran will not engage in negotiations with the US at the meeting in Vienna next week where the 2015 nuclear deal will be discussed, a top official said here on Sunday.

“We will not talk directly or indirectly with the US in Vienna,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said, denying American reports that indirect negotiations would take place between the two.

The remaining parties of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are to hold a fresh round of discussions on a possible US return to the agreement that aims prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief.

The US pulled out in 2018 and trading restrictions reimposed by Washington have prevented Tehran from reaping significant economic benefits.

In return, Iran started scaling back its compliance last year by overstepping key limits related to uranium, the fuel for civilian nuclear power stations but which can be enriched to make warheads.

“Iran’s policy in this regard is clear and simple: the US must return to the Vienna nuclear agreement, fulfil the deal in accordance with the treaty and lift sanctions against Iran,” Araghchi told state television.

As soon as this happens, Iran will return to complying with the deal’s agreements, said Araghchi, who heads the Iranian delegation.

He also said Tehran would only hold purely technical talks on a US return to the deal and the parties would then pass on the details to the US.

“How they do that, whether they will be successful or not, all that is their business and not ours,” the Minister added.

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