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Zarif Says Iran Nuclear Accord Must End With Sanctions Removal

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that a final agreement on the country’s nuclear program must include the complete removal of all sanctions.

Iran and six major powers are scheduled to meet for a new round of talks on February 18 in Vienna, following the implementation of an interim deal last month, which has seen Iran halt uranium enrichment to a purity of 20 percent and the West ease some its sanctions.

“A part of the final agreement, which is impossible to ignore, is the removal of all the sanctions,” Zarif said at a joint news conference in Tehran with Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. There will be no agreement unless that happens, he said.

Zarif said that during talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich earlier this week he was assured that the U.S. government was united in wanting to reach an accord.

Bildt, who is the first Swedish foreign minister to visit Iran in 12 years, said he was “convinced if there is good will on both sides, a deal is possible within the very ambitious time scale of six months.”

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