U.S. wants nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna to restart ‘soon’
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday the U.S. wants nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna to restart “soon,” just days after Iran’s foreign minister said the country would “soon” return to table.
“We hope their definition of soon matches our definition of soon,” Price said in a press briefing. “We would like negotiations to resume in Vienna as soon as possible.”
Talks for countries to restart the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, were previously happening in Vienna until they were adjourned in June.
Former President Trump pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018 and Iran stopped complying with the agreement in 2019.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Saturday that negotiators would return to Vienna “soon.” He also said Iran asked the U.S. in September to unfreeze $10 billion of its funds to restart the talks, but the U.S. refused.
The previous Vienna talks ended days after the election of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric personally sanctioned by the U.S. over alleged human rights abuses in his past as a judge.
However, during the U.N. General Assembly last month, Raisi expressed his desire to resume nuclear talks with world powers including the U.S.
“The Islamic Republic considers the useful talks whose ultimate outcome is the lifting of all oppressive (U.S.) sanctions,” Raisi said in a pre-recorded address.
“We want nothing more than what is rightfully ours. We demand the implementation of international rules. All parties must stay true to the nuclear deal and the U.N. Resolution in practice,” he added.
Price previously said “A mutual return to compliance is in America’s national interest.”
“It is the best available option to restrict Iran’s nuclear program and provide a platform to address Iran’s destabilizing conduct,” he added. “We are seeking a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. If Iran demands more or offers less, these negotiations will not succeed.”