A group of five world powers and Iran has agreed that negotiations between the two sides will resume before the end of November, and will also be scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the next round of talks between the nuclear powers and North Korea, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday.
“The parties reaffirmed their continued determination to pursue negotiations for a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations amongst themselves on an early resumption of negotiations involving Iran and the P5+1 before the end of November, and also agreed to consider holding such negotiations on the sidelines of negotiations among the five P5+1 and North Korea,” the agency said in a statement.
After years of standoff, the Iranian nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, expired in January, and is the subject of debate in the U.S. Congress. President Donald Trump has said he does not recognize the deal and has threatened to abandon it. If the nuclear agreement is not renewed, Iran would be in violation of the agreement and the IAEA would be unable to certify the existence of nuclear-related activity. However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the White House would allow the agreement to expire unless it is completely renegotiated. A U.S. withdrawal from the deal would leave the rest of the world without the sanctions relief that is one of its elements.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, said at the weekend that he would continue to resist efforts by the Trump administration to weaken or dismantle the deal, according to a report in The New York Times.
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