Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear programiStock

Iran said on Tuesday said it still believes that negotiations can succeed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, despite a recent rebuke from the UN nuclear watchdog.

"We believe negotiations and diplomacy are the best ways to reach the final point of the agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said during a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Tehran, according to the AFP news agency.

Iran scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal, in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018, but has held several rounds of indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.

An agreement was nearly reached before the talks stopped in March. US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley told lawmakers recently that the prospects for reaching a deal with Iran are “tenuous” at best.

The talks hit another snag last week when the International Atomic Energy Agency approved a motion to censure Iran for failure to cooperate over its nuclear program.

Iran condemned the IAEA move as "unconstructive" and disconnected some of its cameras at nuclear sites, a move the IAEA warned could deal a "fatal blow" to negotiations to revive the nuclear deal.

Amir-Abdollahian said that prior to the IAEA's move, Tehran had put forward a new initiative that the US had accepted, adding that Washington nonetheless moved to submit the resolution censuring Iran.

But the Islamic Republic would not abandon negotiations, he said, adding that "contacts in the diplomatic fields will continue" through the European Union.

Iran "will not distance itself from... diplomacy and negotiations to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement," Amir-Abdollahian noted, according to AFP.