Iran Wants Sanctions To End In Year For Talks, Official Tells FT
(Bloomberg) -- Iran would agree to talks on the 2015 nuclear deal if the U.S. signals it’s willing to remove sanctions within a year, according to a top conservative official interviewed by the U.K.’s Financial Times newspaper.
“We have to see every month during the talks that some sanctions which are of urgency to us are being lifted,” Mohsen Rezai, secretary of the Expediency Council that advises the supreme leader and a former chief of the Revolutionary Guards, told the FT.
Restrictions on financial transactions and oil exports were “top priorities” that should be removed in the first month of negotiations. Unfreezing Iranian assets stuck overseas could also help bring Tehran to the table, according to Rezai, who said he’s considering contesting June’s presidential election.
In an apparent reference to the FT’s story, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Friday that “diverse” opinions among Iranian officials shouldn’t be confused with state policy.
Rezai said Iran needed to see actions from Washington that build trust before making its own moves to ease the standoff, echoing similar statements from the country’s leaders.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions in 2018 as he sought to weaken Iran economically and militarily. Iranian authorities subsequently breached key nuclear covenants as tensions threatened to spark a regional conflict.
The Biden administration has said it wants to return to the agreement but each side is calling on the other to make the first move back toward compliance.
United Nations atomic monitors reached a deal with Iran this week that prevented further restrictions on inspections of nuclear sites, opening up some space for diplomacy.
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