Iranian diplomat suggests flexibility to restore nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s top diplomat said on Saturday that the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards accept the idea of ​​continuing to be sanctioned by the United States if it means restoring the nuclear deal in Iran. Tehran with world powers.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s remark in a state television interview could signal a possible opening on the stalled Vienna talks. He also appeared scheduled for a visit on Sunday by a European Union diplomat involved in the negotiations.

Sanctions on the Guard have been one of the remaining sticking points on restoring the tattered nuclear deal, apart from Russia’s 11th hour demand for guarantees over its trade relationship with Iran in the middle of Moscow’s war against Ukraine. The Guard represents one of the main power bases of the Shia theocracy and is answerable only to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In the interview, Amirabdollahian acknowledged that the Guard sanctions were a topic discussed.

“High-ranking officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the country always remind us of a point in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they say that you must do whatever is necessary for the interests of the country,” he said. -he declares. “If you reach a point where the issue of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been raised, the issue of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps should not be an obstacle for you.”

He added, “In my opinion, the senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps show and elevate their self-sacrifice to the highest level.”

Although he later said he would not negotiate the Guard sanctions, Saturday’s remark represents the first time he or any other Iranian official has suggested she could be traded in the negotiations. It came as Spanish diplomat Enrique Mora, who served as the EU’s chief negotiator in the talks, traveled to Iran on Sunday for meetings.

Earlier on Saturday in Qatar, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said all parties were “very close to an agreement” on a roadmap restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, which was saw Iran limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. The deal fell apart in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled America out of the deal.

“I hope that will be possible, because we are now discussing a collateral issue that has nothing to do with the heart of the nuclear agreement,” Borrell said. “The work has been hard and we are coming to an end.”


Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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