TEHRAN: Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Saturday after talks in Tehran that they agreed on an approach to resolve issues crucial in efforts to revive the country’s 2015 nuclear deal.
The announcement came shortly before Russia said it would seek guarantees from the United States before it backs the deal, potentially scuppering hopes an agreement could be wrapped up quickly.
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the UN agency and Iran “did have a number of important matters that we needed… to resolve”, but that they had now “decided to try a practical, pragmatic approach” to overcome them.
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran president Mohammed Eslami said the two sides had come to the “conclusion that some documents which need to be exchanged between the IAEA and the Iranian organisation should be exchanged” by May 22.
Grossi’s visit to Tehran comes after Britain, one of the parties to parallel talks on the deal in Vienna, indicated an agreement was close.
The 2015 nuclear deal has been hanging by a thread since then US president Donald Trump pulled out in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions, including on Iran’s vital oil and gas exports.
The landmark accord was aimed at guaranteeing Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon – something it has always denied wanting to do.
Iran said this week that it was ready to raise its crude exports to pre-sanctions levels within one to two months of a deal being signed.
The next few days are widely seen as a decisive point for negotiations on reviving the accord formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
“We are close,” British delegation head Stephanie Al-Qaq said Friday.
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