Iran has been warned it must step up cooperation over its nuclear programme if it wants an easing of sanctions from the West.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s demands come as talks resumed at the UN in New York between Iran and six world powers on Thursday.
Tensions remain over Tehran’s suspected plans to build a nuclear bomb which they deny.
Iran maintains it is working with the IAEA despite failing to meet an August deadline to answer questions about its nuclear plans.
But Reza Marashi from the National Iranian American Council remains optimistic about the talks:
“I think the atmosphere is positive. But I also think we need to acknowledge the real obstacles that remain and we should also start to consider the very dangerous scenario everybody in the world finds themselves in, if this process breaks down,” he said.
The nuclear issue is further complicated as Iran and the West find themselves on the same side in the fight against Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria which Marashi thinks requires co-operation between the two sides.
“In order to find a durable peaceful solution to the myriad conflicts that have caused this region to be set ablaze is going to have to be collective security with the various parties working together in order to promote secure, stable outcomes. There is no other way.”
Sanctions from the US, EU and UN have crippled Iran’s economy which Tehran says has increased anti-US sentiment among its population.
Negotiations are expected to run for at least a week
on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.
Stefan Grobe, our correspondent in New York said:
“The nuclear issue is the elephant in the room. Without Iran giving up the bomb, there won’t be any strategic partnership between the West and Tehran in the fight against ISIL, nor will there be the lifting of the sanctions. The stakes could not be higher.”