World Nuclear deal possible despite gaps if Iran takes decision -U.S
'This certainly was not secret': State Department defends John Kerry over Iran leaks claim
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claims in a new audio recording that former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him of Israeli military operations in Syria — but U.S. officials are brushing off the statement, saying the Israeli strikes were public knowledge. © Provided by Washington Examiner "This is purportedly leaked material. Can't speak to the authenticity. Can't speak to the accuracy of it. Can't speak to any motives that may be behind its dissemination,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday.
By Arshad Mohammed and Humeyra Pamuk
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -While big gaps remain between Washington and Tehran, there could be an agreement within weeks for both to resume compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if Iranian authorities decide to do so, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.
"Is it possible that we'll see a mutual return to compliance in the next few weeks, or an understanding of a mutual compliance? It's possible yes," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity during a telephone briefing.
Ukraine opens new nuclear waste site at Chernobyl
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president on Monday unveiled a new nuclear waste repository at Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster that unfolded exactly 35 years ago. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Chernobyl together with Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and vowed to “transform the exclusion zone, as Chernobyl is referred to, into a revival zone.” “Ukraine is not alone, it has wide support (from its) partners,” Zelenskyy said. “Today the new repository has been put into operation and it is very important that today a license to maintain the new repository will be obtained.
"Is it likely? Only time will tell, because as I said, this is ultimately a matter of a political decision that needs to be made in Iran," he added.
U.S. officials return to Vienna this week for a fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its terms about a year later.
The crux of the agreement was that Iran committed to take steps to rein in its nuclear program to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.
Tehran denies having nuclear weapons ambitions.
The U.S. official said it might be possible to revive a nuclear deal before Iran's June 18 elections but, again, put the onus on Iran to make such a political decision.
US eyes major rollback in Iran sanctions to revive nuke deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is considering a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent Trump-era sanctions imposed on Iran in a bid to get the Islamic Republic to return to compliance with a landmark 2015 nuclear accord, according to current and former U.S. officials and others familiar with the matter. As indirect talks continue this week in Vienna to explore the possibility of reviving the nuclear deal, American officials have become increasingly expansive about what they might be prepared to offer Iran, which has been driving a hard line on sanctions relief, demanding that all U.S. penalties be removed, according to these people.
"We think that it's doable because it's not rocket science. It's not inventing a new deal ... Is it possible to get a deal before the Iranian elections? Absolutely," the official said.
However, he said this would require Iran to avoid asking Washington to do more than what is envisaged in the agreement while Tehran would seek to do less.
"If there is a clear and realistic practical view about what this means, it can be done relatively swiftly, both in terms of reaching an understanding and then implementing it, but the pace would have to accelerate for us to get there in the coming weeks and no guarantee that that will be the case," he said.
All parties to the original deal - Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - have joined the Vienna talks, with chiefly European diplomats shuttling between the U.S. and Iranian delegations.
The U.S. official described recent inaccurate reports about there being an agreement to release U.S. citizens detained in Iran as an "unspeakable cruelty" and he said there are separate talks about this.
"We're treating it independently," he said, saying it was "a matter of utmost urgency to get the detainees home. And we want it to be resolved sooner rather than later - immediately."
(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed in Saint Paul, Minn., and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)
Democratic Party leaders urge Biden to rejoin Iran deal, lift Trump's 'bad-faith sanctions' .
Dozens of Democrats around the country are offering President Biden "strong support" for rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.In a letter to Biden sent Monday, 53 state Democratic Party leaders and Democratic National Committee members applauded the administration for entering into indirect talks with Iran to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and urged him to lift "bad-faith" sanctions imposed by former President Trump."LiftingIn a letter to Biden sent Monday, 53 state Democratic Party leaders and Democratic National Committee members applauded the administration for entering into indirect talks with Iran to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and urged him to lift "b