Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi Reuters

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday that an agreement with the United States over the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers is possible if sanctions on Iran are lifted, The Associated Press reports.

“If the parties are ready to lift the oppressive sanctions, it is quite possible any agreement can be reached,” Raisi was quoted as having said in a live broadcast.

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 several rounds of indirect talks with the US on reviving the deal. The talks are being mediated by the remaining five countries that are party to the deal.

Raisi's comments came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian signaled a willingness by Iran to engage directly with the US in discussions over the deal if necessary to reach a satisfactory agreement.

A State Department spokesperson later said the US is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program.

"We are prepared to meet directly," the spokesperson said, adding, "We have long held the position that it would be more productive to engage with Iran directly, on both JCPOA negotiations and other issues.”

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.