Iran has not ruled out talks to end nuclear dispute

Abbas Mousavi spoke at a televised weekly news conference. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 January 2020

Iran has not ruled out talks to end nuclear dispute

  • Iran has gradually stepped back from its obligations to the 2015 deal
  • US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal earlier

DUBAI: Iran said on Monday that it had not closed the “door to negotiations” in efforts to resolve a dispute over its nuclear agreement with world powers that has escalated steadily since the United States withdrew from the deal in 2018.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said any further move by Tehran to scale back its commitments to the deal would depend on actions by other parties, after European states triggered a mechanism that could lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions.
Iran has gradually stepped back from its obligations to the 2015 deal, under which Tehran secured sanctions relief in return for limiting its nuclear work, after Washington quit the agreement and then imposed stringent U.S. sanctions.
Britain, France and Germany, also signatories to the pact, triggered a dispute mechanism this month, citing Iranian violations. This starts a diplomatic process that could lead to U.N. sanctions being reimposed.
“Tehran still remains in the deal ... The European powers’ claims about Iran violating the deal are unfounded,” Mousavi told a weekly news conference in Tehran, saying that the “door to negotiations” had not been closed.
“Whether Iran will further decrease its nuclear commitments will depend on other parties and whether Iran’s interests are secured under the deal,” Mousavi said.
US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and began a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, saying he wanted a new deal that would cover nuclear issues, Iran’s ballistic missile programme and Iranian activities in the Middle East.
Britain has said a “Trump deal” could replace the 2015 agreement and France has called for broad talks to end a crisis with the United States, which briefly erupted into tit-for-tat U.S.-Iranian military action this month.
Mousavi repeated Iran’s rejection of a “Trump deal.” Iranian officials have said Trump could not be trusted, so such deal would not have any value.


Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

Updated 5 min 23 sec ago

Teen killed in clashes between Palestinian forces, gunmen

JERUSALEM: A teenager was shot and killed in overnight clashes between Palestinian forces and local gunmen in the West Bank, local media reported Wednesday.
Salah Zakarna, 17, was shot in the chest and later died when Palestinian security forces clashed with armed residents in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. It was unclear who shot him.
Maan said Palestinian forces were trying to prevent residents from firing celebratory gunfire into the air to welcome home a local man who had been released from an Israeli prison. It said several people, including members of the security forces, were wounded.
The Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said it launched an investigation into the teenager’s death and would bring those responsible to justice.
Support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has plummeted in recent years following his failure to bring about an independent state or mend the rift with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has also faced widespread allegations of corruption.
Abbas has continued to maintain security ties with Israel more than a decade after the last high-level peace talks ended. The security coordination is deeply unpopular among Palestinians, many of whom view it as an extension of the occupation.