USA 'open' to Iran's suggestion of 'wider nuclear deal roadmap'

Daniel Fowler
April 2, 2021

The JCPOA was reached in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1: the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the U.S., China, Russia, the UK and France - plus Germany.

The minister elaborated that the talks will focus on lifting sanctions against Iran in the shortest time possible in exchange for Iran "ceasing [the] remedial measures" it has introduced over the last two years in light of the USA withdrawal from the JCPOA.

The United States on Friday confirmed it would take part in a meeting in Vienna next week on the Iran nuclear deal and offered to sit down directly with Tehran.

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".

Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and President Joe Biden has said rejoining the agreement is a priority for his administration.

"What we had heard was that they were interested first in a series of initial steps, and so we were exchanging ideas on a series of initial steps", said one USA official quoted by Reuters.

The United States is ready to pursue a joint return to compliance with the JCPOA, Ned Price also claimed.

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The US blacklisted Iran's energy industry in late 2018 as it ramped up sanctions, but granted Baghdad a series of temporary waivers, hoping Iraq would wean itself off Iranian energy by partnering with US firms. The impression is that we are on the right track but the way ahead will not be easy and will require intensive efforts.

"The stakeholders seem to be ready for that", he said.

Iran has said that before it resumes compliance with the deal, the US needs to return to its own obligations under the deal by dropping the sanctions.

Any return of the United States would involve complications.

A satellite photo by taken by Maxar Technologies in November 2020 shows Iran's Fordo nuclear site. The U.S.in turn has demanded that Iran return to full compliance with its obligations under the deal.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated on his Twitter page that Tehran is planning to hold an in-person meeting with the remaining signatories to the JCPOA - representatives of the EU, France, Germany, the UK, China, and Russian Federation - in Vienna on 6 April, while not mentioning the United States in the list.

Under a last-minute deal worked out during a trip to Tehran, some access was preserved.

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