USA to join talks aimed at salvaging Iran nuclear deal

Besides, the discussions in the Vienna meeting would be around the fulfillment of obligations by the other parties to the deal to safeguard Iran's agreement interests, Khatibzadeh added. The administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the agreement and re-imposed sanctions against Iran in May 2018. He said the agenda would focus on the "nuclear steps" that Iran would need to take to restore its compliance with the JCPOA and the "sanctions relief steps" that the USA would need to take to rejoin the deal.

While both sides have downplayed Tuesday's meetings, it could mark the beginning of a quick return to the deal, which saw Iran agree to worldwide inspections of and certain time-limited restrictions on its nuclear program. The Joe Biden administration has said that if Iran returns to full compliance with the JCPOA, Washington would do the same.

Nor is it clear that the U.S. administration is willing to lift all of its sanctions, as Iran is demanding. "We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough", State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday - before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward".

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US and Iranian officials are scheduled to begin indirect talks in Vienna on Tuesday - with European officials expected to act as intermediaries - to try to revive the 2015 pact. "We have only one step which includes lifting of all USA sanctions; in return, Iran is ready to suspend its remedial measures and reverse actions". These are early days. It may seem like semantics, and maybe it is. "But I think what we have is at least the germ of a process whereby both sides can say we're moving simultaneously, both sides can save a little face and put together a roadmap going forward", said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.

The talks begin Tuesday in Vienna, the capital of Austria, where much of the diplomacy around the original deal unfolded.

"We (seek) only one step, which includes lifting of all USA sanctions". The spokesman ruled out any plan for the step-by-step removal of anti-Iran sanctions by the United States.

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Iran confirmed in January it was enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, well beyond the threshold set by the 2015 deal.

They're prepared to grant billions and billions of dollars in sanctions relief and the question is how well are they going to be to really be willing to crack the whip and demand that the Iranians strengthen this deal as well as address some of their really malign activities that weren't part of this deal at all.

Iran has called for Saudi Arabia to engage in direct talks to solve ongoing issues between the two countries without the involvement of a third party, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said yesterday.

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