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Iran calls removal of US sanctions its ‘red line’ for 2015 deal revival

THE STRAITS TIMES – Iran said yesterday that the removal of United States (US) sanctions is Tehran’s red line in talks with world powers in Vienna to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference, adding that talks will resume today.

Last Friday, the US restored sanctions waivers allowing international nuclear cooperation with Iran on projects designed to make it harder for Iran’s nuclear sites to be used to develop weapons, although a senior State Department official said that was not a signal Washington was on the verge of reaching an agreement.

“The issue of removal of sanctions and Iran benefiting from it is Iran’s red line in the talks,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh.

“Washington has decided to take a step which has no impact on Iran’s economic situation… a responsible (US) government should return to the deal and fulfil its obligations,” he said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday described the US move as “good but insufficient”.

Iran, which denies ever seeking a nuclear bomb, has gradually violated nuclear limits of the nuclear pact in reaction to then US President Donald Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the pact between Tehran and six powers and re-imposing of crippling sanctions on Iran.

Tehran and Washington have held eight rounds of indirect talks since April last year. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES