US says Iran nuclear deal 'in sight' but urgent need to finalize

US says Iran nuclear deal ‘in sight’ but urgent need to finalize


WASHINGTON: The United States said on Monday that a deal with Iran over its nuclear program was possible, but a deal must be urgently concluded as Tehran ramps up its capabilities ahead of renegotiations.

Negotiations involving China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, Iran and the United States will resume in Vienna after being suspended at the end of last month.

They came after parties in recent weeks cited progress in seeking to revive the 2015 deal that was supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining an atomic bomb, a goal it has always denied pursuing.

“A deal that addresses all sides  core concerns is in sight, but if it is not reached in the coming weeks, Iran s ongoing nuclear advances will make it impossible for us to return to the JCPOA,” a US State Department spokesperson said, referring to the 2015 framework agreement.

Parties have been negotiating in Vienna since last year with indirect US participation.

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the pact in 2018 and reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran, prompting the Islamic republic to begin pulling back from its commitments under the deal and step up its nuclear activities.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the answers that “the United States brings tomorrow to Vienna will determine when we can reach an agreement.”

“We have made significant progress in various areas of the Vienna negotiations” including on guarantees that Iran seeks that a new US administration would not breach the deal once again, Khatibzadeh told reporters.

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