The US reported that it would attend a meeting on the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna next week, and offered to sit down directly with Tehran.
“We’re still in the early stages, and we don’t expect a swift outcome because there will be tough discussions ahead. However, we agree that this is a positive move forward “Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, confirmed the story.
“We do not expect direct talks between the United States and Iran through this mechanism at this time,” he said, “though the United States remains open to them.”
The European Union announced on Friday that all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, would meet in person in Vienna. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.
The Europeans said they would have “separate” talks with the US in Vienna, and Iran immediately refused a direct meeting with its arch-enemy, President Joe Biden, as it presses him to lift sanctions first.
The “key issues” for debate in Vienna, according to Price, would be “the nuclear measures that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the JCPOA’s terms, as well as the sanctions relief steps that the US will need to take in order to return to compliance.”
Iran has demanded that the US must first lift the Trump sanctions, which include a unilateral attempt to suspend all of its oil exports before it would scale back enforcement steps it had taken in protest. The governments of the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, and Russia, who are all still parties to and backers of the nuclear agreement signed by former US President Barack Obama, will attend the Vienna talks.