Iran says it will not back down in nuclear negotiations

Tehran called last week for a new meeting 'as soon as possible' amid stalled talks in Vienna

Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadari said the negotiations in Vienna were one of several options on Iran's table. Photo: Iranian Presidency / Shutterstock
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Tehran is determined to continue participating in nuclear talks and there will be no retreat during the negotiations in Vienna until the full economic and nuclear rights of its people are guaranteed, an Iranian government spokesman has said.

In a statement to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Ali Bahadari said negotiations constitute one of the options on the table for Iran.

Tehran has been engaged in talks with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia directly and the US indirectly to revive the nuclear deal made in 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Talks to revive the deal resumed early last year and despite being said to have neared a conclusion, not all points were finalised.

Iran last week called for a new meeting “as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, Enrique Mora, representing the European Union as co-ordinator of the negotiations, has told Iranian counterparts he is ready to return to Tehran to open a pathway through the deadlock, western diplomats told The Wall Street Journal.

Iran has yet to respond with an invitation, the diplomats said.

Iran and the US have been exchanging views through Mr Mora.

The US has told Iran that should it seek sanctions relief out with that of the 2015 nuclear deal, it must first address Washington's concerns beyond the pact.

Under the accord, Iran had agreed not to produce either highly enriched uranium or plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, with extensive international inspections monitoring activity.

The agreement started to unravel in 2018 when Donald Trump, US president at the time, left the deal and reinstated sanctions, leading to Iran stepping up its nuclear programme.

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have been trying to resolve a series of issues since the collapse of the agreement. These include regaining access to footage from surveillance cameras at the regime's atomic sites.

Iran last week set up a new workshop for making centrifugal parts underground at its fuel enrichment plant in Natanz, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi said.

IAEA member states had been told that uranium-enriching machines from a now-closed workshop at Karaj, near Tehran, had been moved to a site at Natanz.

Updated: June 19, 2023, 5:28 AM