Iran offers upbeat assessment of progress in nuclear talks

Berlin:  A senior Iranian official offered an upbeat assessment of progress in talks aimed at bringing the United States back into world powers’ 2015 deal with Tehran on its nuclear programme, saying Saturday that a new understanding appears to be taking shape.

Iran has been negotiating with the five powers that remain in the agreement — France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China in Vienna over the past two weeks. An American delegation also has been in Vienna, but not talking directly to Iran.

The accord is aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, something it says it doesn’t want to do.

It restricted Iran’s nuclear programme in return for relief from US and international sanctions.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled the US unilaterally out of the accord, opting for restored and additional American sanctions.

Since then, Iran has steadily violated restrictions in the deal, like the amount of enriched uranium that it can stockpile and the purity to which it can be enriched.

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