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Iran blames US for delays in reaching nuclear deal

BEIRUT (AP) – Iran’s foreign minister claimed on Thursday that his country is ready to reach a lasting agreement with world powers, blaming the latest failure to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal on an allegedly “unrealistic vision” by the United States (US).

Speaking during a visit to Beirut, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian urged the US to stop “wasting time.”

Nuclear negotiations nearly reached completion on the deal earlier this month before Russia demanded that its trade with Iran be exempted from Western sanctions over Ukraine, throwing the process into disarray. Negotiators have yet to reconvene in the Austrian capital, and its unclear exactly what hurdles lie ahead.

Amir-Abdollahian discussed a range of issues with Lebanese officials, including the tiny Mediterranean country’s parliamentary elections due in May, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the latest developments on efforts to resurrect the nuclear deal.

“We believe that if there is a realistic American vision in dealing with the situation, we will very soon see the birth of this nuclear deal,” he said. Asked about the main obstacles, he said “some matters are still pending and they are related to lifting the unjust sanctions” imposed on Iran.

“We believe that the United States should move on the right track instead of wasting time,” he said, without elaborating. “We are ready to reach a strong, good and lasting agreement as long it does not cross the Islamic Republic of Iran’s red lines.”

Iran enjoys wide influence in Lebanon. Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Lebanon on Thursday from neighbouring Syria, where he met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and other top officials.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. PHOTO: AP