Erdogan Urges Lifting U.S. Sanctions on Iran, Return to Nuclear Deal

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2019
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2019Credit: Umit Bektas / Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear work and returning to a 2015 nuclear deal will contribute to regional stability and economic prosperity.

Also on Thursday, a French diplomatic source said that Iran has given encouraging signs over the last few days about resuming nuclear diplomacy and opening informal talks. 

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The source added that European powers Britain, France and Germany have decided to pause the submission of a resolution critical of Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to give diplomacy a chance and not harm the prospects of an informal nuclear meeting.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, plans to start a "technical" dialogue with Iran aimed at advancing the process of obtaining explanations on outstanding issues such uranium particles found at old, undeclared sites, its chief said on Thursday.

"I'm ... aiming at having a far more clear understanding of this issue by the summer or before," IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told a news conference, adding that the first meeting would be in Iran in early April and he hoped to report back to the IAEA board on progress by June.

Tehran and Washington have said they want the other side to move first to hold talks to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Tehran secured an easing of sanctions by limiting its nuclear work.

Last month, Erdogan told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call that he saw a window of opportunity for Iran and the United States, adding he wanted U.S. sanctions on Tehran to be lifted.

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