Iran open to talks on permanent nuclear deal with US, says Zarif

Moscow: Iran is open to talks with the United States on a lasting nuclear deal, but the place for them is at the negotiating table with the signatories to the existing pact, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Sunday.

“We’re ready to talk. We’re ready to talk but talk in terms of something that is not going to be valid only for the next one and a half year or five and a half years. We need to talk about something that is permanent,” he said in an interview with CBS.

The next opportunity will be Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly where top diplomats of six signatories — the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, Iran — and the European Union will discuss future of the 2015 deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

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Zarif ruled out meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York. He argued that US laws prevented Pompeo from meeting him after Washington imposed sanctions on the Iranian diplomat in July for acting on behalf of the Islamic Republic’s spiritual leader, who is on the US blacklist too.

The United States has imposed a series of economic and individual sanctions on Iran after leaving the nuclear agreement in 2018.

US President Donald Trump said he wanted to renegotiate what he called a horrible one-sided deal.

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