Reuters-By Michelle Nichols
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in Berlin, Germany, December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/File Photo
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister expressed a “very clear intent” to return to nuclear talks in Vienna, Ireland’s foreign minister said on Wednesday after meeting with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
“That may not happen for a number of weeks, as the new Iranian government finalizes their approach towards those negotiations. But certainly, he expressed a very clear intent to return to those negotiations,” Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, told reporters.
Ireland is currently a member of the U.N. Security Council and coordinates the 15-member body’s work on a 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
The world powers held six rounds of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Vienna to try and work out how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which was abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018.
Trump reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran, which then started breaching curbs on its nuclear program. Iran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only.
The Vienna talks were adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president. The Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday that those would resume in a few weeks, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
In a video statement, Raisi told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday that Tehran wants to resume nuclear talks with world powers that would lead to removal of U.S. sanctions.
Additional reporting by by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Leslie Adler and Will Dunham
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