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Tehran trying to revive nuclear talks with US

The Islamic Republic's U.N. ambassador is leading the effort.

Amir Saeid Iravani, Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, April 14, 2024. Credit: Eskinder Debebe/U.N. Photo.
Amir Saeid Iravani, Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, April 14, 2024. Credit: Eskinder Debebe/U.N. Photo.

Iran is in contact with the Biden administration about restarting moribund talks on a new nuclear agreement amid a direct military confrontation between Tehran and U.S. ally Israel, the dpa German news agency reported on Sunday, citing a report in the Iranian Shargh newspaper.

Knowledgeable sources told Shargh that the Islamic Republic’s U.N. mission is coordinating the talks with the Americans and that Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri is no longer leading the negotiations. Instead, Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani is doing so.

Abram Paley is now the Biden administration’s acting special envoy for Iran, the Shargh report noted. He took up the role after Robert Malley was suspended and had his security clearance revoked pending an investigation into his handling of classified information, which is being conducted by the FBI.

Malley was the lead negotiator on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian representative at the U.N. “has followed the negotiations with the American parties, which, although it includes a range of different issues, especially centered on the Gaza crisis, but also talks about the revival of the JCPOA,” according to the Iranian report.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian confirmed on Saturday that talks on the nuclear deal were held during his stay in New York but did not say whether the U.S. took part in those conversations.

Tehran engaged in a direct attack on Israel for the first time on April 14, launching a massive drone and missile assault. Israel allegedly responded with a strike on an Iranian air base on April 19.

“According to commentators, the leadership in Tehran wants to use the recent military conflict with arch-enemy Israel as leverage to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, negotiated under former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration,” according to the dpa report.

“In return for a de-escalation demanded by the West, there will be new nuclear negotiations. The aim is to lift the sanctions that are paralyzing Iran.”

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