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Business News/ News / World/  Is Iran working on a nuclear deal with US? Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says 'nothing wrong with...'
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Is Iran working on a nuclear deal with US? Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says 'nothing wrong with...'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has suggested a nuclear deal with the West could be possible, but only if the country's atomic industry remains 'untouched'.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with nuclear scientists and personnel of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran (via REUTERS)Premium
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with nuclear scientists and personnel of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran (via REUTERS)

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has broached the possibility of a nuclear deal with the West amid stalled talks with the US. Tehran said on Monday that it had continued indirect negotiations with the United States through the Sultanate of Oman. Officials however insist that a deal would only be possible if the country’s atomic industry remained “untouched".

"There is nothing wrong with the agreement (with the West), but the infrastructure of our nuclear industry should not be touched," reports quoted Khamenei as saying. 

He however reiterated the denial of moves towards acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The remarks came mere days after both countries refuted claims that they were close to reaching an interim deal to replace the 2015 accord. Iran's nuclear programme has long been the subject of scrutiny from Western powers with sanctions crippling the country's economy over the years. 

The deal inked in 2015 had granted Tehran some much needed relief with sanctions being lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme. The United States under President Donald Trump however pulled out of the agreement in 2018. 

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While efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have so far failed to yield results, a foreign ministry spokesperson insisted on Monday that the diplomatic process had bever been stopped. Nasser Kanani also noted that the talks "were not secret".

“We welcome the efforts of Omani officials and we exchanged messages with the other party through this mediator over the lifting of US sanctions" he added.

Iran and its arch-nemesis the United States have also been involved in Oman-mediated talks over a possible prisoner swap. Kanani on Monday said a prisoner exchange could be agreed "in the near future", provided that Washington exhibits "the same level of seriousness" as Tehran.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 13 Jun 2023, 12:23 AM IST
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