Iran nuclear talks resume in Brussels

Image copyright EPA Image caption Iran says it will welcome any resolution to the nuclear standoff Iran has agreed to resume talks with the other six powers over its nuclear programme before the end…

Iran nuclear talks resume in Brussels

Image copyright EPA Image caption Iran says it will welcome any resolution to the nuclear standoff

Iran has agreed to resume talks with the other six powers over its nuclear programme before the end of November.

The foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels before returning to Tehran for talks with President Hassan Rouhani.

The agreed date comes after the first round of negotiations in Vienna last week broke down.

Iran insists its programme is peaceful and has denounced previous failed talks.

“We welcomed the occasion [in Brussels] to restart nuclear talks,” Mr Zarif said after the talks with Ms Mogherini on Tuesday.

“We have stated our position very clearly,” he added.

The United States said a suggestion for a resumption of nuclear talks in July in Oman did not apply to talks this week.

“We remain committed to continuing the dialogue and confidence-building measures established in the JCPOA [nuclear deal],” Mr Zarif said, using an acronym for the 2015 deal that ended sanctions in return for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme.

But a US State Department spokesperson said the Oman talks were “not part of the June 2019 negotiating track for Iran’s nuclear program”.

How did we get here?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed a deal with world powers in 2015 under which it agreed to give up a majority of its low-enriched uranium in return for the lifting of sanctions.

However, Western powers and their allies say that most of Iran’s enriched uranium is still in the form of higher-enriched uranium – which would provide a pathway to a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies it needs to make such a device and says it has no nuclear ambitions.

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