Iranian official optimistic about nuclear talks, senior delegate cautious
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday he was optimistic that Tehran would soon reach a deal in negotiations with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, although the main negotiator Iranian warned that serious problems remained.
Iran and world powers have held several rounds of negotiations since April in Vienna, working on steps Tehran and Washington need to take on nuclear sanctions and activities to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.
“General agreements have been reached on major disputes. Regarding the lifting of sanctions, the remaining cases are very minor, and given the negotiation process, we are optimistic about the resolution of the remaining minor and practical cases,” said Rabiei at a press conference streamed on a state-run website.
Iran’s top negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, took a more cautious stance in his comments on state television.
“There are still serious and important issues that need to be resolved,” he said. “Today we will resume negotiations and we hope that during the few days of talks, God willing, we can reach final solutions.”
On the way to the talks, US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Twitter: “The last round of talks has been constructive and has seen significant progress. But there is still a long way to go.”
Washington withdrew from the deal in 2018, prompting Iran to gradually overstep the limits of the deal on its nuclear program aimed at making it harder to develop an atomic bomb – an ambition Tehran denies .
Last week Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions on oil, shipping, petrochemicals, insurance and the central bank had been addressed in the talks, although European diplomats said success did not was not guaranteed and that very difficult problems remained.
US sanctions are likely to be a major issue in the campaign for Iran’s June 18 presidential election.
State television reported on Tuesday that the Iranian election watchdog had approved the candidacy of extremist justice chief Ebrahim Raisi for the election. Extremists say Washington cannot be trusted to honor a nuclear deal.
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