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Iran President Rouhani: Lift sanctions over nuclear talks

Iran wants all sanctions lifted, though U.N. report raises questions.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

TEHRAN, March 2 (UPI) -- Tehran says it's time to lift sanctions against the oil-rich country imposed in response to nuclear concerns, though a new U.N. report raises questions.

Iran and members of the international community are working to resolve long-standing issues over the country's controversial nuclear program. A sanctions package from November 2013 allows Iran to export some crude oil in exchange for concessions on nuclear research.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said sanctions on his country should be "lifted all at once" because of its commitment to nuclear talks.

"Iran has always honored its commitments and it is currently clear to everyone that Iran is a completely serious side in the talks," he said in a statement Sunday.

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Yukiya Amano, general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, briefed delegates in Austria on the progress of the talks. Iran, he said, has verified it hasn't diverted any of its declared nuclear material to non-peaceful activity.

"However, the agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," he said in a statement.

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Iran is working on a budget for a new year that begins mid-March that diminishes the weight given to oil revenue. Already, Rouhani said the economic progress "has been like a miracle," even under the weight of sanctions.

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The Iranian economy emerged from recession in December.

Iranian officials in Tehran said Monday that even if sanctions are lifted, the government needs to ensure economic progress can continue.

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