Iran denies reaching 'interim deal' with US

Iran's UN mission roundly rejects allegations that the country and the US are approaching an "interim deal" amid stagnation of talks on the JCPOA's revival.

Tehran has roundly rejected reports that Iran and the United States are reaching an "interim deal" that foresees some sanction relief for the Islamic Republic in exchange for changes in the country's peaceful nuclear energy program.

Iran's UN mission made the remarks on Thursday after the London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) news and analysis website claimed that the countries were close to clinching such a deal amid the stagnation of talks on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and world countries, including the United States. It enabled limited sanction relief for the Islamic Republic, which, in turn, volunteered to change some aspects of its nuclear work.

The US, however, left the agreement in 2018 under former president Donald Trump, returning all the sanctions that the deal had lifted.

Negotiations to revive the agreement started in April 2021. The talks have, however, stalled amid Washington's refusal to offer guarantees that it would not ditch the deal again.

"There is no interim deal [meant] to replace the JCPOA," said the Iranian mission to the United Nations, adding that no such agreement is on the agenda.

Also on Thursday, a White House National Security Council spokesman similarly rejected the MEE report, calling it false and misleading.

Trump's successor Joe Biden has alleged an interest in returning the US to the JCPOA. Biden's administration has, however, not only stopped short of taking any measures that could lift the talks out of its current impasse but has also imposed many rounds of its own sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Mohsen Naziri Asl, Iran’s permanent representative at the United Nations office in Vienna, touched upon the United States’ self-proclaimed desire to return to the JCPOA on Wednesday. "Despite the arduous negotiations that lasted for more than 18 months, mainly due to the lack of American political will and determination, we could not bring the talks to a conclusion," he said.

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