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Iran: Verifying the lifting of US sanctions is a top issue in nuclear talks

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - APRIL 27: In this handout image provide by EU Delegation Vienna, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (R) speaks with other participants at the JCPOA Iran nuclear talks on April 27, 2021 in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from the United States, Iran, the European Union and other participants from the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are meeting both directly and indirectly over possibly reviving the plan. The JCPOA was the European-led initiative by which Iran agreed not to pursue a nuclear weapon in exchange for concessions, though the United States, under the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, abandoned the deal and intensified sanctions against Iran. (Photo by EU DELEGATION VIENNA via Getty Images)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (R) speaks with other participants at the JCPOA Iran nuclear talks on April 27, 2021 in Vienna, Austria [EU DELEGATION VIENNA via Getty Images]

A main concern of Iran in any talks to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal would be around ways to verify the lifting of US sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Saturday, reported Reuters.

The talks, which aim to bring Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact aimed at curbing the Iranian enrichment programme, were adjourned in June after hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran's president.

Speaking during a visit to Syria, Amirabdollahian reiterated that Iran would "soon" return to the nuclear talks with world powers, which include indirect negotiations with the United States, Iranian state media reported.

"Of course, we will soon return to the Vienna talks and we are keeping our eyes on the issue of verification and receiving the necessary guarantees for the implementation of commitments by the Western parties," state media quoted Amirabdollahian as saying.

Read: Iran asked US to unfreeze $10bn to show goodwill

Amirabdollahian did not give details of the verification and monitoring mechanism Tehran was seeking. But Iran has often voiced concern about the need to verify that US sanctions that were lifted under the accord are not kept in place by Washington.

Former president Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear pact in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that crippled Iran's economy, prompting Tehran to breach some of the accord's nuclear restrictions.

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