Saturday, February 24

Iran Says Deal Hinges on US Removing IRGC From Terror List

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(Bloomberg) — Iran said it had agreed with France, Germany and the UK on a draft text to revive a beleaguered nuclear pact, but that a deal hinged on the US ending its designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terror organization.

“We have agreed on the text of a deal with the three European countries,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said to Iranian television on Saturday. “It requires a final revision.”

The US has “accepted” it must take steps to address “a few key remaining issues,” he said. The status of the IRGC is “one of the issues,” he said.

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Iran has made the removal of a number of its individuals and entities, including the IRGC, from the US blacklist a condition to finalizing a deal to salvage the 2015 accord.

Oil Sanctions

The pact limited Tehran’s atomic activities in return for an easing of sanctions, including on oil exports. Energy traders expect Iran to be able to ramp up production by around 500,000 to 1 million barrels a day within months of any new deal.

Amirabdollahian’s comments came as European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said a deal may be just days away.

“We are very close but there are still some issues pending,” Borrell told reporters on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in Qatar, according to AFP.

Enrique Mora, the European Union envoy who’s coordinating the talks, and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani are expected to meet in Tehran on Sunday in a bid to break a deadlock in talks.

Former US President Donald Trump in 2018 abandoned the accord that curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief, and in 2019 designated the elite Revolutionary Guards force as a foreign terrorist organization.

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