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Iran ready for nuclear talks with West but not under pressure

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that Iran was ready to hold talks with world powers to revive its 2015 nuclear agreement and was seeking negotiations for lifting U.S. sanctions.

However, he said that the talks could not be held under Western pressure.

"The Westerners and the Americans are after talks together with pressure … What kind of talks is that? I have already announced that we will have talks on our government's agenda but not with … pressure," Raisi told state television on Saturday, according to a Reuters report.

"Talks are on the agenda … We are seeking goal-oriented negotiations … so unjust sanctions on the Iranian people are lifted … and their lives can flourish," he added.

With US troops out Taliban lets water from dam flow into parched Iran and gets oil in return

France and Germany have urged Iran to return to the  negotiating table after talks were disrupted due to the elections in Iran in June. Last month, France, Germany and Britain had voiced concern about reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirming Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20% purity for the first time and lifted production capacity of uranium enriched to 60%.

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, that it has informed the UN nuclear watchdog about its activities, and that its moves away from the 2015 deal would be reversed if the United States returned to the accord and lifted sanctions.

President Joe Biden promised during his campaign that he would be prepared to bring the U.S. back into the nuclear agreement if Iran returned to compliance with the deal's restrictions on its nuclear work.

The Biden administration has already indicated that it was ready to hold talks with other world powers and Iran to discuss Tehran’s nuclear programme. This would mark a first step in a possible diplomatic deal in which Washington could re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. It now remains to be seen how the process moves forward.

India stands to gain

India stands to gain if the sanctions on Iran as it used to be Iran's second biggest oil buyer after China, buying as much as 480,000 bpd in the fiscal year beginning April 2018.  Indian oil companies were being offered oil by Iran on better terms than the other Gulf countries. However, with the US sanctions kicking in, India was forced to stop buying Iranian oil.

With more Iranian oil coming into the market, the international prices of oil are also likely to soften. This would be a big gain for India, as the country imports around 80% of its crude oil requirement.