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Iran Nuclear Deal: US Agrees To Lift Sanctions On Iranian Oil And Shipping

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“An agreement has been reached to remove all insurance, oil and shipping sanctions that were imposed by (former US president Donald) Trump,” Rouhani’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying by Iranian state media. On Wednesday, the United States hinted to lift all the 1,040 Trump-era sanctions under the prospective agreement being revived in Vienna since April.

The talks adjourned on Sunday for consultations in capitals, two days after Iran held a presidential election won by hardliner Ebrahim Raisi who is believed to be a critic of the West, and is on US blacklist. The Tribune reported that Vaezi has said the United States had agreed to remove from blacklist some senior Iranian figures in Iran’s Supreme Council.

According to BBC, at his first news conference since his victory, Ebrahim Raisi said he would not allow the talks in Vienna to be “dragged out”. He also insisted that Iran’s ballistic missile programme was “not negotiable” and that the deal “must benefit Iran”.

However, Iranian and Western officials alike say Raisi’s ascendancy is unlikely to alter the Islamic Republic’s negotiating position, as clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei already has the final say on all major policy.

Difficult road ahead and time is running out

Western and Iranian negotiators although optimistic about salvaging the tattered deal, have said the talks remain a “long way from conclusion“. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that there were “some nuts to crack”.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had earlier said on Sunday there was still “a fair distance to travel”, including on sanctions and on the nuclear commitments that Iran has to make. Similarly, French Junior Foreign Minister Franck Riester told lawmakers that time was running out to reach a deal. He said, “Difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming days or weeks if these negotiations were not to move forward.” The talks won’t be open-ended, agree both the European and Iranian negotiators.

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