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Iran's nuclear activities continue; sanctions removal talks underway: Acting FM

Iran's acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani

Iran's acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani says the Islamic Republic is proceeding with its peaceful nuclear activities under the supervision of the country’s top security body, adding that talks on the removal of anti-Iran sanctions are also underway.

Bagheri Kani made the remarks on the sidelines of the Iranian administration’s weekly cabinet meeting in the capital Tehran on Wednesday as he pointed to late President Ebrahim Raeisi’s emphasis on keeping active diplomacy.

“The martyred president’s emphasis was on being active in the field of foreign policy with a focus on the policy of neighborliness and interaction with neighbors,” the top diplomat said.

Stressing that Iran’s nuclear activities continue under the supervision of the country’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Bagheri Kani touched on negotiations to remove anti-Tehran sanctions and said, “The exchange of messages has not stopped and is still underway.”

Asked about a possible trip by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Tehran, the acting foreign minister said there has been a mutual invitation from both sides and the issue has previously been brought up, but the exact timing of the trip has yet to be specified.

Bagheri Kani also pointed to Iran’s membership in world’s economic alliances, such as the BRICS group of emerging economies and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), saying, “The intention and approach of countries regarding [the promotion of ties with] Iran denote the significance of Iran's foreign policy status in the international arena.”

Meanwhile, Bagheri Kani said in a Persian-language post on his X social media account on Tuesday that he had a telephone conversation with Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya and thanked him for offering condolences and participating in the late Iranian chief executive's funeral service.

Raeisi lost his life alongside a number of his associates in a tragic helicopter crash earlier this month.

Over the past years, Iran has made great strides in its peaceful nuclear energy program in defiance of illegal sanctions and other hurdles created by the Western governments.

The country, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has also been closely cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The country showed to the world the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by signing the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with six world powers. But, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

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