Nuclear talks to continue under successor, says Rouhani

Tehran, Jul 14 (EFE).- Iranian outgoing president Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said that the stalled discussions in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal will not be resolved by the end of his term and will continue under his successor, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, who will take the helm on 5 August.

Negotiations between Iran and the signatories to revive the 2015 deal began in April with the indirect participation of the United States in a bid to convince Tehran and Washington to return to the agreement, which limits the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed the sanctions on Iran, which in return boosted its uranium enrichment beyond the limits set by the deal.

Less than a month ago, top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said his country was “closer than ever” to reaching a new agreement in the Austrian capital.

But Rouhani said the Iranian government had “missed the chance” to reach a consensus, ruling out striking a deal over the upcoming three weeks.

“We hope that the next government (chaired by the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi) can complete this work,” he said.

“We are sorry that five or six months were lost,” he added, criticizing some internal obstacles to his administration and insufficient power of the executive.

Despite Rouhani’s opposition, the Iranian Parliament approved in 2020 approved a series of measures that violate the 2015 deal, including enriching uranium at 20 percent purity. This year, Iran has reached a purity of 60 percent.

Raisi, the president-elect, said he supports the Vienna nuclear talks, but he has a tougher stance on some aspects than Rouhani. EFE


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