US ambassador to UN vows to ‘keep up the pressure’ on Iran ahead of General Assembly

Tehran has asked the IAEA to close its investigation into several undeclared nuclear sites

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Friday the United States will “continue to press” Iran over nuclear inspections that have stalled negotiations on the deal, ahead of the Assembly General of the United Nations next week.

All parties involved in the negotiations, including Iran, will be represented at the General Assembly, but Ms Thomas-Greenfield said no events relating to the nuclear deal were planned.

Reviving the deal between Iran and world powers has appeared increasingly unlikely in recent weeks, due to a sticking point over inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Last week, Iran asked the agency to close its investigation into several undeclared nuclear sites, which did not convince the Western powers present in the netherlands.

“We will continue to press [sur l’Iran] for him to respond to the IAEA,” Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged Iran to hold a “serious dialogue” about UN inspections. “The IAEA cannot be the instrument of parties against other parties” in negotiations, he said.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is due to address the General Assembly at the annual gathering of world leaders on Wednesday.

Protesters from the Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, also known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, staged a rally outside the UN on Friday to protest Raisi’s intervention.

Protesters demand action against the Iranian president for his alleged role in the murder of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in 1988.

They also claim he has presided over the deaths of hundreds of protesters and suspected criminals, including minors, in recent years.

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