|Iran said that outstanding differences with the US in the nuclear deal were diminishing and that talks were moving forward.
Country’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani disclosed this to the official news agency, IRNA. However, the two countries have recently engaged in a spiraling escalation of threats and warnings, even as they are progressing in diplomatic talks about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
On Saturday, Iran’s Parliament placed largely symbolic sanctions on 51 Americans, many of them prominent political and military officials, for ‘terrorism’ and human rights violations in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, two years ago. Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, then warned that Iran would ‘face severe consequences’ if it attacked any Americans, including any of the 51 people hit with the sanctions. Nevertheless the recent exchanges are noteworthy because they come during a negotiation that both sides want to complete successfully.
Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed tough economic sanctions cutting off most of Iran’s oil revenues and international financial transactions. Trump’s goal was to pressure Iran into a deal that reached beyond its nuclear program, restricting its ballistic missiles and regional political and military activities.