Iran agrees to resume nuclear talks with world powers, officials say

Iranian officials say country will extend talks with world powers, which could result in reaching an agreement by 2025

Iran has agreed to resume nuclear talks with world powers before the end of November, Iranian officials have said, an agreement that could pave the way for Iran to halt sensitive nuclear work in exchange for scaling back of sanctions.

“We don’t want to delay anything and we had in our minds a month that we will make the decision,” Iran’s minister of science, research and technology, Reza Faraji Dana, said. “Iranian officials will meet their counterparts and give an announcement in the first few days of September.”

Officials added that the nation had to make the announcement prior to an election in the US. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, cannot run for re-election in May 2021.

Iran gave the news at a meeting of leaders of the non-proliferation treaty’s 164 parties in Oslo, the country’s foreign ministry said.

The announcement came after world powers agreed in Vienna last year to lift key economic sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.

However, several international UN arms and financial sanctions against Iran remain in place while Washington maintains the toughest restrictions.

A government spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, said he hoped for an outcome that could be in line with the first nuclear agreement, which was struck by Iran and world powers in July 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The JCPOA should remain in our policy of diplomacy and continue without delay,” Qasemi said. “It’s our right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.”

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani … will not be running for re-election in 2021. Photograph: MOHAMMED BOUZMOUR/AFP/Getty Images

The US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany brokered the July 2015 agreement, while Iran was represented by the foreign ministry and its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A meeting will be held in mid-August to discuss the next step in implementing the nuclear deal, a joint statement said on Thursday.

After the meeting on Saturday, Iran’s US ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, predicted that US sanctions would be gradually eased until the year 2025.

“We should have a full lifting of sanctions in the next one year [July 2020] and the European parties should have full lift of sanctions in five to seven years.”

The US “will facilitate this process in accordance with US law,” he said, adding that measures to safeguard US companies would be discussed “in the near future”.

“US president has promised a suspension of the application of US sanctions during the duration of the agreement,” Khoshroo said.

Rouhani, a moderate who was elected in 2013, inherited a financial crisis from the conservatives who had controlled the country’s affairs since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

In an interview with the Guardian on Tuesday, he appeared to signal he would not support a hardline candidate in the elections.

Last week Iran’s parliament and the Guardian Council, a body of religious experts appointed by Khamenei, approved Rouhani’s presidential bid for a second term.

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