Iran, world powers ready to welcome back US to nuclear deal

Photo: AP

Iran and the major world powers participating in the agreement to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons said Friday they were ready to welcome the return of the US to the deal, the AP reported.

The group, which includes the EU, China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran, “recognised the prospect of a full return of the US to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and underlined their readiness to positively address this in a joint effort,” the chair of a meeting of high-level officials said. The participants also “emphasised their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation,” according to a statement after their virtual meeting.

The group said they would resume further talks Tuesday in Vienna on the 2015 agreement, “in order to clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures.” US officials had no immediate public comment, but Washington on Thursday welcomed the news that the Europeans would be meeting with the Iranians to try to get talks going again. State Department spokesman Ned Price called that development “a positive step.”

Friday’s statement from the EU-chaired meeting said the group’s coordinator “will also intensify separate contacts in Vienna” with all participants of the nuclear agreement and the US. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif immediately stressed that no meeting was planned between officials from Iran and the US. In a tweet, Zarif said the aim of the Vienna session would be “rapidly finalize sanction-lifting & nuclear measures for choreographed removal of all sanctions, followed by Iran ceasing remedial measures.”

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