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Nuclear Chief Says Iran Ready To Sign A Document Disavowing Nuclear Weapons

Iran's Head of the Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi delivers his speech at opening of the general conference of the IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, September 16, 2019

The head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Organization has said his country is ready to draft a document disavowing nuclear weapons and certifying that Iran’s nuclear program has only peaceful purposes.

Iran’s government-controlled Mehr News Agency reported that Ali Akbar Salehi told a news briefing that the idea is for President Donald Trump to lift U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran, and the Islamic Republic to announce it will not make any moves to obtain nuclear weapons.

Salehi added that “The President can sign the Supreme Leader’s fatwa [banning nuclear weapons] and the countries of P5+1 can also sign the document so that sanctions can be lifted.”

P5+1 are signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement that put restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programs in exchange for lifting international sanctions. But in 2018, Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement and impose American sanctions, demanding a better nuclear deal and a change in Iran’s regional policies of intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.

Salehi also revealed that President Hassan Rouhani’s negotiations with his Japanese counterpart last week in Tokyo was about the same idea of signing a new document. However, he claimed he is not aware of the details of the talks.

Rouhani left Tokyo on December 21 and Trump called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reportedly to discuss Iran.

Iran is in an extremely difficult economic situation as a result of U.S. sanctions, unable to sell its oil, attract investments or conduct normal trade with the world.

Widespread protests shook the ruling elite in November, which resorted to mass killing of protesters. This has destabilized the political situation in the country and the ruling establishment appears eager to make fins a way to lift the U.S. sanctions.