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Iran, world powers to hold nuclear talks on April 2 to discuss US return to deal

Officials from Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and UK will meet virtually on Friday to discuss a possible return of the US to the 2015 nuclear deal, the European Union said in a statement on Thursday.

“Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” the statement said.

The US welcomed the announcement and said it was ready to take “mutual steps” to return to the deal.

“We obviously welcome this as a positive step,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We are ready to pursue a return to compliance with our JCPOA commitments consistent with Iran also doing the same… We’ve been looking at options for doing so [a series of initial mutual steps], including with indirect conversations through our European partners,” Price added.

Washington and Tehran have been locked in an impasse over reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has taken steps, perceived as extending an olive branch to Iran, to revive talks over the nuclear deal which has unraveled since his predecessor Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018.

Biden reversed Trump’s determination that all UN sanctions against Iran had been restored and the State Department eased stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian diplomats in New York.

Yet, Tehran adamantly demanded that all Trump-era sanctions on Iran be lifted before taking any real action to return to the deal. The regime repeatedly made threats of upping their nuclear activities, effectively “turning up the heat” on Biden, trying to get as many concessions from Washington as possible before taking any real action.

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