Iran nuclear talks to resume on Saturday

Iran nuclear talks to resume on Saturday
2 min read
12 June, 2021
Talks to restart the Iran nuclear deal will resume on Saturday, as the US announces that some sanctions have been lifted and others have been imposed.

A sixth round of talks in Vienna between Iran and world powers aimed at restarting the Iran nuclear deal will resume on Saturday, according to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi. 

"The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement," Araqchi said on Friday. 

The announcement comes after the US said that it was lifting sanctions on three Iranian individuals and two companies, which Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said was not a sign of goodwill. 

Sanctions were lifted from Ahmad Ghalebani, a managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company; Farzad Bazargan, a managing director of Hong Kong Intertrade Company, and Mohammad Moinie, a commercial director of Naftiran Intertrade Company Sarl.

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The decision by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was not tied to the ongoing efforts to restart the Iran nuclear deal, but were a recognition of "a verified change in behaviour or status", an unnamed official told Reuters.

"Selective US delistings are neither related to JCPOA (nuclear accord) talks nor viewed as signals of goodwill - specially when coupled with renewed economic terrorism," said Khatibzadeh on Twitter, referring to fresh US sanctions announced on Thursday targeting a network that allegedly funds overseas elements of the the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Khatibzadeh reiterated Iran's demand from the recent nuclear deal talks and called on Washington to "effectively & verifiably" lift sanctions on Tehran.

Sanctions were reimposed on Iran in 2018, when Donald Trump's administration unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal.