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Iran says nuclear deal still 'on the table'

According to Iran’s Foreign Ministry, the nuclear deal could still be restored.
ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani criticized the US approach to the ongoing nuclear talks. 

Addressing Iranian journalists at a press conference Monday, Kanani said that the United States is “two-sided and contradictory in its approach” on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He added that while the United States publicly expresses “negative positions,” the messages sent to Iran via intermediaries are different.

Kanani added that the “agreement is still on the table and the window is still open.” Iran refers to the currently stalled negotiations as “the talks to remove sanctions.”

Discussing the Baghdad II conference held in Jordan last week, Kanani said, “It was a good opportunity to conduct negotiations between Iran and senior European Union negotiators.” He added that the conclusion of those talks was “to continue to find a path to the final steps.”

Kanani’s comment on the United States' public negativity was likely in reference to a recently surfaced video of President Joe Biden speaking on the sidelines of an election rally Nov. 4, where he said that the nuclear deal was “dead.” Biden campaigned on restoring the JCPOA, which limits Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for sanctions relief. Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump exited the deal in 2018. 

Biden’s efforts to restore the deal have been met by a number of setbacks. Iran's current hard-liner president took the country toward on a maximalist approach, seeking US guarantees not to leave the deal again — a promise no US president could offer given the nature of how sanctions are applied. 

In the last few months, Iran has also been rocked by protests. More than 500 people have been killed and thousands have been arrested since they began Sept. 16. Two individuals accused of attacking security personnel during the protests have been executed and a dozen more have either been sentenced or are charged with crimes that carry the death penalty. 

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