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Won’t resume nuclear talks ‘under threat’; says Iran

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaanion said on Monday that it will not accept the resumption of nuclear negotiations with the West under pressure or threat.

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Iran said Monday it will not accept the resumption of nuclear negotiations with the West under pressure or threat.

“Iran is still committed to the negotiation process and seeks to resolve it, but it will not negotiate on the basis of the need for negotiations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in statements cited by the state news agency IRNA.

The spokesman said Tehran has abided by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, but Washington had withdrawn from the agreement.

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Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the landmark agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to retaliate by taking steps away from its nuclear-related commitments. It has since gone on to surpass limits on the amount of uranium it is allowed to possess, as well as the levels to which it is allowed to enrich the nuclear material.

Kanaani stressed that nuclear negotiations were not a priority to the United States.

Indirect talks between Iran and the US on reviving the nuclear deal remain stalled since August. One of the key sticking points has been Iran’s demand that the UN nuclear watchdog drop its investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran.

In September, a joint statement by France, Britain, and Germany criticized Iran for its demand to close the probe, blaming it for “jeopardizing” the marathon talks.

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Although Iranian officials have not ruled out the resumption of the talks, President Ebrahim Raisi said during his New York visit in September that Tehran has “found a path independent of any agreement”.