Roundup: Iranian lawmaker reiterates importance of U.S. guarantee in nuclear talks

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TEHRAN, May 4 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian lawmaker reiterated on Wednesday the importance of seeking a reliable guarantee from the United States in the talks to salvage the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Zohreh Elahian, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that Iran must get a "reliable guarantee" from the U.S. to prevent Washington from scrapping the agreement again and reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

"There is currently no reliable guarantee," Elahian said, adding that the guarantee should ensure "if the other side reinstates the sanctions or imposes new sanctions on our country, and the sanctions on Iran are intensified, we will also suspend our commitments and start enrichment and take other steps to revive the nuclear industry."

In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with world powers including the United States. However, former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the agreement in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, including freezing some of Iran's assets abroad, prompting the latter to drop some of its nuclear commitments.

Since April 2021, several rounds of talks have been held in the Austrian capital between Iran and the remaining JCPOA parties, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, to revive the deal.

The latest round of talks continued until mid-March when the parties involved announced a pause.

Iran demands guarantees from the U.S. over the verifiable and permanent lift of all sanctions, and the removal of terror designation on Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Washington has said that if Tehran accepts some "extra-JCPOA" concessions on its regional influence, the U.S. would consider delisting the IRGC from "terrorist organizations", which Iran rejected.

"The only way I could see it (IRGC designation) being lifted is if Iran takes steps necessary to justify the lifting of that designation," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week.

In a fresh diplomatic attempt to save the 2015 nuclear deal, the European Union (EU) coordinator for the Iran nuclear talks Enrique Mora may visit Tehran. Mora has asked Iran for renewed talks with the EU to open a pathway through the impasse and is still waiting for Iran's reply, according to media reports on Sunday.

Mora visited Tehran in late March when he held talks with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian over the thorny remaining political issues, although no progress was reported.

On Tuesday, Amir-Abdollahian confirmed that negotiations over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are underway through the exchanges of written messages.

Making the remarks in an interview with Yemen's Arabic-language Al-Masirah television network, the Iranian minister said the talks in Vienna have not stopped.

They are going on in a process to lift the unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran, through the exchange of written messages with the Americans via the European Union's representative, he noted.

The top Iranian diplomat said his country seeks to reach a "strong" and "lasting" agreement through the talks, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. Enditem

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