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Iran ‘ready to provide answers’ on nuclear probes, FM says 

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NEW YORK — Iran’s overseas minister mentioned that his nation is able to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve questions on uranium discovered at three undeclared websites, so long as the company addresses these questions “technically,” reasonably than politically.

“The agency has questions about three alleged sites that they say they have found uranium, and we are ready to provide answers to those questions,” mentioned Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in an unique interview with Al-Monitor on Sunday night. 

Once there may be settlement on a return to the nuclear deal, recognized formally because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran shall be able to grant entry to the IAEA “beyond safeguards,” he mentioned.

“These apparent baseless allegations against Iran, that have been put on the agenda of the agency [IAEA] need to be removed first,” he mentioned. “But we believe and accept that to do so, there has to be some technical work to be done.”

“At the same time, the agency needs to behave and act technically,” reasonably than politically, he added.

He referred to a comparable course of in 2015, when the IAEA ended its probe into the previous army dimensions (PMD) with a decision that allowed the JCPOA to proceed. As in 2015, he mentioned, “there needs to be the political will to close the case of these allegations.”

Asked why Iran shouldn’t be addressing the excellent points within the JCPOA through direct talks with the United States, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned the Americans did relay a message in New York final week: “Let’s talk directly.”

“We are not afraid of having face-to-face talks with the United States, but we should feel that it is going to be a game changer, that there is going to be some kind of gain for us.” 

“If the Americans are serious, and they are willing to show their willingness and desire to get back to the JCPOA, these [indirect] messages will suffice.”

Asked whether in the absence of direct talks, Iran would support a new round of EU-facilitated indirect negotiations, Amir-Abdollahian did not necessarily see a need to do so, saying that Iran’s position in the recent rounds has been to make the agreement more transparent and less ambiguous.

“But if the American side feels that there needs to be another round of talks done by the coordinators, I mean, [EU foreign policy chief] Josep Borrell and the EU, then we are not going to reject that.”

On financial ensures, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned there had been “some progress” made in latest weeks on account of messages exchanged with the Americans.

“We really want this to happen,” the overseas minister mentioned, referring to a return to the JCPOA and the financial advantages that will movement from the lifting of sanctions.

In response to a query about whether or not a shift in Iran’s regional coverage may additionally be a type of assure for Iran, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned that whereas the present negotiations over ensures are about assurances of financial features for Iranians from the lifting of sanctions, and never regional points, “we welcome new initiatives in line with ensuring or contributing to peace and security in the region, especially those by the United Nations,” noting his common conversations with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“We have always been supportive of the security and stability of the region,” he mentioned. “ And we have been supportive of the process of government building in Iraq. It was us who encouraged all the parties and groups in Yemen, to agree to the ceasefire that we follow.”

Asked in regards to the standing of a potential change of prisoners, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned Iran is “absolutely ready.” 

“I’m optimistic,” he mentioned. “I think it can happen, to take positive steps with regards to the exchange of detainees or the prisoners. But it’s up to the Americans.”

Regarding the prospects for enhancements in Iran-Saudi ties following 5 rounds of talks hosted in Iraq, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned “We do welcome the idea of diplomatic ties getting back to normal,” noting that some agreements have but to be carried out.

Amir-Abdollahian mentioned he had good discussions this week together with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, on “next steps so that [Iran-Saudi] diplomatic relations are restored. We welcome the idea of the reopening of our embassies.” 

Asked about whether or not Iran would undertake reforms, comparable to loosening hijab restrictions or disbanding the morality police in response to the anti-government protests following the dying in custody of Mahsa Amini, Amir-Abdollahian mentioned, “I’m telling you there is full democracy in Iran, you will have to see it for yourself.”

Amir-Abdollahian mentioned  “we are all saddened” by Amini’s dying and “all the branches of power in Iran are at work to see what happened.” 

Over the previous week, movies have proven Iranian police opening fireplace on anti-government protesters. He mentioned that a few of the photos of violence towards demonstrators have been “fabricated” and that “those people were not all killed by the security forces.” 

He added, “you have to respond to riots in a powerful, mighty way.”

This article shall be up to date Monday to incorporate a transcript of the interview.

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