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Iran calls for lifting sanctions days before nuclear talks begin

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Yemen on June 16, 2015 [AFP via Getty Images]
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Yemen on June 16, 2015 [AFP via Getty Images]

Iran wants the lifting of all sanctions in a verifiable process, its foreign minister said today, three days before nuclear talks resume in Vienna, Reuters reports.

Monday's indirect talks between the United States and Iran, with the participation of major powers, aim to bring the two countries into full compliance with the 2015 deal. Washington abandoned the accord in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

"If the opposing sides are prepared to return to their full obligations and the lifting of sanctions, a good and even immediate agreement can be reached," minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a telephone conversation with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell.

"Iran wants a good and verifiable agreement," Iranian media quoted Amirabdollahian as saying.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday following a trip to Tehran this week that he had made no progress on several disputes, the most pressing of which was getting access to the workshop at the TESA Karaj complex two months after Iran promised to grant it.

The workshop makes components for centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, and was hit by apparent sabotage in June in which one of four IAEA cameras there was destroyed. Iran removed the cameras and the destroyed camera's footage is missing. "We are close to the point where I would not be able to guarantee continuity of knowledge," Grossi said.

However, Amirabdollahian told Borrell that Iran would attend the Vienna talks in "good faith" – despite the US violation of the 2015 agreement.

READ: Iran drones target Saudi Arabia through Bahrain, says Israel diplomat 

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