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US Backs EU-Iran Discourse but Calls Vienna 'Ultimate Destination'

US Backs EU-Iran Discourse but Calls Vienna 'Ultimate Destination'

Tuesday, 26 October, 2021 - 03:30
US State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, US, March 1, 2021. Reuters

The United States said on Monday that it supported the European Union's engagement with Iran as coordinator of the lapsed 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but stressed that the "ultimate destination" to try to revive the accord was to resume talks in Vienna.

"The EU is the JCPOA coordinator. And we are very supportive of the EU's engagement with Iran in that capacity," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, referring to the deal by its formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"That said ... the ultimate destination needs to be Vienna," Price added.

Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani tweeted on Monday that Iran will hold a second meeting this month with EU’s Enrique Mora.

“I will meet (EU) coordinator in Brussels on Wednesday to continue our talks on result-oriented negotiations (between Iran and the six powers),” Bagheri Kani tweeted, alluding to Mora’s initial round of discussions in Tehran on Oct. 14.

In April, Iran and six powers started talks to reinstate the deal, which then-US President Donald Trump ditched three years ago before reimposing sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. But the Vienna-based talks were put on hold after Iran’s presidential election in June that brought anti-Western hardliner Ebrahim Raisi to power.

The United States and European powers have urged Iran to return to negotiations, warning that time is running out as Tehran’s uranium enrichment program is advancing well beyond the limits set by the nuclear pact.

The US pointman on Iran, Rob Malley, earlier Monday renewed a warning that the United States had "other options" if Iran's nuclear work advances although he said the Biden administration preferred diplomacy.

The EU acts as coordinator for the deal that also involves Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

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