Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna Handout, Reuters

Iran said on Monday that it is time for the US to take political decisions to resolve key remaining issues, including on lifting sanctions, at talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

“What remains are important and key issues that require specific political decisions,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at his weekly news conference, as quoted by AFP.

“Washington, in particular, must announce its decisions on removing sanctions and the remaining issues,” he added.

“If this happens ... we will reach a lasting, reliable agreement at a good pace.”

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

However, it has held indirect talks with the US on reviving the deal. Negotiations to restore the deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June.

The Iranian official’s remarks came on the day chief negotiators were due to return to Vienna for the talks after having travelled home on Saturday for consultations.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly demanded that the US lift sanctions imposed on Iran and also reassure Iran it will not abandon the deal again as a precondition for its returning to compliance with the deal.

US officials have said that while they prefer the diplomatic route to reach an agreement with Iran, there are other options on the table should that fail.

“Negotiations are going in the right direction, we have no unresolvable impasses,” Khatibzadeh said on Monday, pointing to consensus over much of the text of a new deal.

He criticized delays, “especially by the US”, in proposing initiatives for the lifting of sanctions.

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