Not clear how critical Iran is on N-deal: US

Washington/Vienna, May 7

US President Joe Biden said on Friday he believed Iran was serious about negotiations over its nuclear programme, but it was unclear how serious.

His reaction came as world powers held the fourth round of high-level talks in Austria, aiming to bring the US back into the nuclear deal with Iran. Russian delegate Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted after the meeting that the participants agreed on the need to intensify the process.

The talks had begun in early April. The US pulled out of the landmark 2015 deal in 2018 after then-President Donald Trump said the pact needed to be renegotiated. The deal had promised Iran economic incentives in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme and the Trump administration reimposed heavy sanctions in an unsuccessful attempt to bring Tehran into new talks.

In response, Iran began enriching uranium to a greater purity, stockpiling more than allowed and beginning to use more advanced centrifuges in an attempt to pressure the world powers remaining in the deal — Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — for economic relief.

US President Joe Biden said he wanted to rejoin the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, but that Iran needed to return to compliance.

Iran, which insists it does not want to produce a nuclear bomb, has said it is prepared to reverse all of its violations but that Washington must remove all sanctions imposed under Trump. — Agencies

Fight against Israel a public duty: Khamenei

Dubai: Iran’s Supreme Leader has called on Muslim nations to keep fighting against Israel, which, he said, was a “terrorist garrison” against the Palestinians. “The fight against this despotic regime is the fight against oppression and terrorism. And this is a public duty to fight against this regime,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech. Reuters

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