Iran’s foreign minister says nuclear deal closer ‘than ever’

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday that Iran and world powers are closer than ever to reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

“If the US acts pragmatically, we are ready to have foreign ministers of countries belonging to the nuclear deal’s joint commission gather in Vienna to finalize the agreement,” Amir-Abdollahian said during a press conference in Damascus alongside his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad.

“We believe that today we are closer to an agreement in Vienna than ever before.”

Following 11 months of negotiations, Iran and the US are now saying that the ball is in the other’s court to revive the accord, which would curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting tough sanctions on Iran’s economy.

On Tuesday, the US State Department said a return to the deal was neither certain nor imminent.

The talks were close to agreement until Russia demanded guarantees from the US that sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine would not hurt its trade with Iran.

“We have given our latest proposals to the US through the European Union’s coordinator to reach a final deal. We reminded the Americans that we will not cross our red lines,” Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday.

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