| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

US confirms to join nuclear deal meeting, ‘open’ to direct talks with Iran

Both parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, will meet in person in Vienna, according to the European Union. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.

The United States on Friday confirmed it would take part in a meeting in Vienna next week on the Iran nuclear deal and offered to sit down directly with Tehran.

“While we don’t expect an immediate breakthrough because there will be difficult discussions ahead,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “we believe this is a healthy step forward.”

“We do not anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through this process, though the United States remains open to them,” he said.

The European Union announced Friday an in-person meeting in Vienna of all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, from which former president Donald Trump withdrew.

The Europeans said it would have “separate” contacts in Vienna with the United States and Iran quickly rejected a direct meeting with its arch-enemy as it presses President Joe Biden first to lift sanctions.

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.

  • AFP