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Washington Rejects Iranian Proposal for Intermediate Talks in Brussels ahead of Vienna

Washington Rejects Iranian Proposal for Intermediate Talks in Brussels ahead of Vienna

Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 09:30
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi chairs a meeting of the Economic Coordination Council (DPA)

The Biden administration has refused Iran’s proposal for holding an intermediate meeting in Brussels on the nuclear deal, deeming it “not necessary” before holding the seventh round of talks in Vienna and considering that the incentives that led Tehran to negotiations in 2015 are “still in place today.”

It also affirmed its support for the “constructive” dialogue Saudi Arabia is leading with Iran to calm regional tensions.

US State Secretary Antony Blinken reviewed ongoing contacts on Iran with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi, who visited Washington during the past two days. The Biden administration did not announce any details of the talks on Iran raising its uranium enrichment levels and quantities.

Responding to a question about Iran’s request to hold a meeting in Brussels with EU officials to discuss a draft agreement that was prepared last June, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington does not believe there is a need for such a meeting.

Price explained that members of the UN Security Council’s P5+1 share the same opinion about the Vienna talks, which is that they should resume soon.

“The destination we seek is in Vienna, not an intermediate step in Brussels,” he said, adding the United States, its allies and partners involved in the Iran deal agreed that the indirect talks in Vienna “should resume as soon as possible.”

Price pointed to Washington’s support of EU efforts, including the recent visit taken to Tehran by the body’s envoy, Enrique Mora.

Mora’s visit was dedicated to the mutual return to the Iran nuclear deal based on what was negotiated in Vienna.

“We certainly think constructive dialogue can be a useful tool for de-escalating tensions, regional tensions. We’re supportive of dialogue broadly speaking. We’re supportive of dialogue in this case,” said Price about the ongoing interactions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“We’re not optimistic; we are not pessimistic,” said Price in response to a question about the Biden administration’s increased pessimism towards the possibility of Iran returning to the nuclear deal.

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