05:52 GMT14 April 2021
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    Iran and the US haven’t yet agreed to restart negotiations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the nuclear deal, despite the fact that each has spelt out its conditions. The 2015 agreement to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief was abandoned by the US under Trump and now remains in limbo.

    An anonymous US official told Reuters on Friday that Washington hasn't ruled out the possibility of being the first to take steps towards the revival of the JCPOA, saying the “sequence” is not an issue for the US.

    The source also noted that the issue that really matters is what exactly these steps would entail.

    “Like, we are going to go at 8, they are going to go at 10? Or they go at 8, we go at 10? That’s not the issue. The issue is do we agree on what steps are going to be taken mutually,” the source said.

    He also dismissed speculations that the US insists on full compliance on the part of Iran, adding “it is absolutely not our position” and that the US is “pragmatic about that".

    “As for, if we agree on mutual steps, like we’ll do X, they do Y, the issue of sequence will not be the issue. I don’t know who would go first. I mean we could – it could be simultaneous,” “There’s a thousand iterations but ... I can tell you now, if this breaks down, it’s not going to be because of that,” he said.

    So far, Tehran demands a total removal of the severe economic sanctions imposed by Trump’s administrations after the withdrawal in 2018. At the time, the US substantiated its move, citing the Iranian missile programme and Tehran's alleged funding of terrorism in the Middle East. At the same time, the UN nuclear watchdog had been reporting that Iran was not violating the terms of the nuclear deal.

    The Biden administration has stressed that Iran must first comply with its original obligations under the JCPOA and reverse the steps it has taken throughout the last two years to improve its nuclear programme by increasing uranium enrichment, producing metallic uranium and opening new plants. Iran earlier noted that all of these actions are “reversible”, as it does not seek to obtain nuclear missiles.


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    negotiations, US, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran's nuclear program
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