France sees progress in Iran nuclear talks, but time pressing

The eighth round of talks, the first under Iran’s new hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, resumed on Monday after adding some new Iranian demands to a working text.

Western powers have said progress was too slow and negotiators had “weeks not months” left before the 2015 deal becomes meaningless.

Iran refuses to meet directly with US officials, meaning that other parties – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, must shuttle between the two sides.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also suggested the situation was positive, but repeated Tehran’s position that all sanctions must be lifted and that Washington should provide guarantees that it will not pull out again.

Little remains of that deal, which lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its atomic activities. Then-President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of it in 2018, re-imposing U.S. sanctions, and Iran later breached many of the deal’s nuclear restrictions and kept pushing well beyond them.

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