TEHRAN, Jan 25 (Asia Free Press): Iran, for the first time said, ready to direct nuclear negotiations with the United States, which declared itself ready to hold talks urgently in a possible turning point in efforts to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord, according to media reports.
Tehran has been engaged since last year in talks with the five other world powers (P4+1), still part of the agreement, which offered sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, CGTN reported.
After unilaterally withdrawing in 2018 under then-President of US Donald Trump, Washington has been taking part indirectly in the Vienna negotiations, which seek to bring the United States back into the nuclear accord and ensure Iran returns to its commitments.
However, on the other side, Washington has said it would prefer to hold direct talks with Iran, and on Monday, Iran’s FM said his country would consider doing so if it proved the key to a “good agreement” salvage the deal.
“If during the negotiation process we get to a point that reaching a good agreement with solid guarantees requires a level of talks with the U.S., we will not ignore that in our work schedule,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
AFTER THE IRANIAN COMMENTS, a U.S. State Department spokesperson stated that the United States is “prepared to meet directly.”
“We have long held the position that it would be more productive to engage with Iran directly, on both JCPOA negotiations and other issues,” the spokesperson said.
Iran is currently negotiating directly with other signatories like Germany, France, China and Britain. The talks, which started last April, were suspended two months later as Iran elected President Ebrahim Raisi, resuming in late November.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on major issues, including the nuclear policy, said earlier this month that negotiating with the ‘enemy’ does not mean surrendering.
Iran-Us has been in escalation since 2003 when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first reported that Iran had not declared sensitive enrichment and reprocessing activities.