Middle East/North Africa

Iran says US’s sanctions waiver is ‘not enough’ as clock winds down on nuclear talks

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The Iranian flag is seen in this June 10, 2021, file photo.

The foreign minister of Iran said Saturday that a loosening of sanctions from the U.S. was “not enough” and that the country wants guarantees that the 2015 nuclear deal will be reinstated, Reuters reports.

The U.S. on Friday restored sanctions waivers, which will allow nuclear cooperation projects with Iran, amid indirect nuclear deal talks between the two countries occurring in Vienna.

“The lifting of some sanctions can in itself translate into good faith,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian. “While what is on paper is good, but it’s not enough.”

Amirabdollahian said Iran wants “guarantees, especially from the West, to fulfill their obligations.”

“We demand guarantees in the political, legal and economic spheres,” he repeated. “Certain agreements have already been reached.”

The newly restored waivers allow Russian, Chinese and European companies to do nonproliferation work, making it more difficult for Iranian nuclear sites to develop weapons.

These waivers were rescinded under former President Donald Trump in 2019 and 2020 after he pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement in 2018.

The nuclear agreement lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Iran’s legal right to continue research and development and maintain its peaceful nuclear capabilities and achievements, side by side with its security…cannot be curbed by any agreement,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said on Twitter Saturday.

The U.S. and Iran have had eight rounds of indirect talks in Vienna since April.

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