Tehran has passed on its proposals on the remaining issues to the American side through the EU senior negotiator, and now the ball is in US court, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said.

Iran has been engaged in negotiations to revive the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran has been engaged in negotiations to revive the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). (Reuters)

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has said that an agreement is "close" in paused negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

"We are close to an agreement in the negotiations," Amirabdollahian said during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to a statement by the ministry on Sunday.

"We have passed on our proposals on the remaining issues to the American side through the EU senior negotiator, and now the ball is in US court," Iran's top diplomat added.

According to the Iranian statement, Guterres stressed the importance of the Vienna talks and expressed hope that the parties would reach an agreement as soon as possible.

Iran has been engaged in negotiations to revive the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China directly, and the United States indirectly.

Iranian and US delegations in Vienna do not communicate directly, but messages are passed through other participants and the European Union, the talks' coordinator.

READ MORE: Iran nuclear deal talks not getting to end: EU's Borrell

Long-drawn talks 

Nearly a year of negotiations brought the parties close to renewing the landmark 2015 accord.

But the talks were halted last month, after Russia demanded guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine would not damage its trade with Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later said Moscow had received the necessary guarantees from Washington on trade with Iran.

The JCPOA gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme to guarantee that Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon – something it has always denied wanting to do.

But the US unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and the reimposition of biting economic sanctions prompted Iran to begin rolling back on its own commitments.

The Vienna talks aim to return the US to the nuclear deal, including through the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and to ensure Tehran's full compliance with its commitments.

READ MORE: EU: Iran, world powers very close to nuclear agreement

Among the key sticking points is Tehran's demand to remove from the US terror list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the ideological arm of Iran's military.

Washington recently confirmed sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard would stay.

Source: AFP