Iran nuclear deal talks to resume on Saturday - Iranian official


FILE PHOTO: Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, attends a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria, September 1, 2020. European Commission EbS - EEAS/Handout via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) -Talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Friday.

"The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement," Araqchi, Iran's top negotiator at the talks, said on his channel on the Telegram messaging app.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, meanwhile, said a U.S. move to remove sanctions on three former Iranian officials was not a sign of goodwill.

The United States said on Thursday it had removed sanctions on three former Iranian officials and two companies that previously traded Iranian petrochemicals, a step one U.S. official called routine but that could show U.S. readiness to ease sanctions when justified.

"Selective US delistings are neither related to JCPOA (nuclear accord) talks nor viewed as signals of goodwill—specially when coupled with renewed economic terrorism," Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.

Khatibzadeh was apparently referring to new U.S. sanctions imposed on Thursday on a network that allegedly helped fund the overseas arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen.

Khatibzadeh called on Washington to "effectively & verifiably" remove sanctions, reiterating one of Iran's main demands in the Vienna talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, and reimposed sanctions that slashed Iran's oil exports. Iran retaliated by violating the limits imposed under the accord on its nuclear programme.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jonathan Oatis)

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