Iran rejects deadline, ‘politically motivated’ claims in nuclear talks


Progress toward nuclear deal, but issues remain: US


Iran said on Sunday it will not accept any deadline set by the West to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and wants “politically motivated” claims by U.N. watchdog IAEA about Tehran’s nuclear work to be dropped, Iranian state TV reported.

“We have answered the agency’s (IAEA) questions or politically motivated claims … that we think were baseless. These dossiers should be closed,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to state TV’s website.

Among sticking points in the indirect talks between Iran and the United States to revive the 2015 nuclear deal appear to be questions about uranium traces found by the IAEA at old but undeclared sites in Iran.

“Iran accepts no deadlines,” Khatibzadeh said, in apparent reaction to media reports that the United States had set a deadline for the nuclear talks in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Iran has made clear it wants an end to the oil and banking sanctions that are hurting its economy, while insisting also on the lifting of human rights and terrorism-related curbs.

Meanwhile, a senior US State Department official has said that negotiators have made significant progress in the last week or so on an agreement to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but very tough issues remain.

“There’s been significant progress over the last week or two. We have significantly narrowed the areas that still need to be resolved. And so, in that sense, there has been progress that has been moving toward a potential deal,” he told reporters. “So we are in a better position than we have been. But at the same time it’s important to note that very serious issues remain.”—Reuters

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