Hassan Rouhani says Iran is still keen to save nuclear deal

“Tehran is prepared to save the nuclear deal and to resume negotiations, including with the United States. The end of all sanctions could lead to a beginning of new developments between Iran and the 5+1 group,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday he was prepared to save the nuclear deal and to resume negotiations, including with the United States, hours before his country was set to move ahead with violating a key stipulation of the accord.

However, all US sanctions had to be lifted as a precondition, Rouhani said in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“The end of all sanctions could lead to a beginning of new developments between Iran and the 5+1 group,” he said. Washington has ruled this out in the past.

The 5+1 group includes the five UN veto powers as well as Germany – which concluded the nuclear accord with Iran in 2015.

Rouhani’s statements came only a few hours before the start of a second phase of Iran’s partial withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The deal capped enrichment to 3.67 per cent. That level is sufficient for civilian nuclear activities – including electricity generation and medical research – but not enough to produce a bomb.

On Sunday, Iran will no longer comply with that limit, and depending on requirements, enrich to any degree.

That step would make deal’s final collapse ever more likelier, even as Rouhani maintains enriching further is within the deal’s legal framework.

Macron expressed grave concern over a further weakening of the nuclear deal, his office said.

The United States pulled out of the deal last year and reimposed oil and financial sanctions. It has continued to ratchet up the pressure on the Islamic Republic, including moving military assets into the region.

 

 

 

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