Iran, the West at all, the US sees no progress on a nuclear deal at the UN

Iran, the West at all, the US sees no progress on a nuclear deal at the UN

By Parisa Hafezi, John Irish and Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK/Washington, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Iran and the West remained at loggerheads on Tuesday over United Nations probes for traces of uranium at three sites in Iran as the United States said it did not expect to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal at the. United Nations General Assembly of the week.

Tehran pressed Washington to promise that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will complete investigations into traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites before fully implementing a proposed move to revive the nuclear deal.

The United States and its partners, however, reject that position, arguing that the investigations can only be concluded when Iran has given satisfactory answers to the Vienna-based UN agency.

The resolution of the investigations is critical to the IAEA, which seeks to ensure that parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are not secretly diverting nuclear material they could use to make weapons.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi set familiar positions on the issue of uranium traces after their talks during the annual meeting of world leaders in New York.

“The ball is now in the court of Iran which has to say whether it accepts the conditions formally set by the Americans and the Europeans,” Macron told reporters after a meeting with Raisi, saying the West would not pressurize on the IAEA to close the probes.

Speaking in Washington, the White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said he did not expect any progress during the United Nations meetings this week but reiterated the United States’ willingness to revival, under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.

Raisi, however, said that Tehran continues to demand that the IAEA close its investigations and that the United States, which abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, offers guarantees to limit the effects of its renegade again.

“Iran’s demand to get guarantees is a completely reasonable and logical demand,” Raisi told Macron, according to the Iranian leader’s office. “We believe that an agreement cannot be reached without the IAEA closing its probes.”

The Macron-Raisi meeting is the first the Iranian president has had with a major Western leader since he was elected last year.

It comes amid an all-out stalemate to revive 2015 nuclear talks and as protests grow in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, who fell into a coma and died after being arrested in Tehran last week by the morality police for “inappropriate attire”. (Reporting By John Irish and Parisa Hafezi in New York and Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Grant McCool)

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