Since then, Iran has steadily violated the agreement’s restrictions, such as the amount of enriched uranium it can store and the purity with which it can be enriched. Tehran’s moves have been calculated to put pressure on the other states in the deal – Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain – to do more to offset crippling sanctions re-imposed under Trump.
President Joe Biden came into office saying it was a priority to get back into the deal and put Iran’s nuclear program back under international restrictions. However, Iran and the United States disagreed on Iran’s demands to lift sanctions first.
High-ranking officials of the Foreign Ministry from the countries still agreed, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, will hold a meeting on Tuesday in Vienna under the presidency of the European Union.
A US delegation led by the Government’s Special Envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, is also due in the Austrian capital. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price said the talks would revolve around working groups that the Europeans will set up with the other parties.
Price said Monday the talks were a “healthy step forward,” but added that “we don’t expect an early or immediate breakthrough as we fully expect these discussions to be difficult.”
“We are currently not assuming that there will be direct talks with Iran,” he said. “Of course we remain open to them. So we have to see how things begin earlier this week. “
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Friday: “No Iran-American meeting. Unnecessary.”
A statement issued after a virtual meeting of the parties on Friday said the aim of their meeting on Tuesday was “to clearly identify measures to lift sanctions and implement nuclear weapons, including by convening meetings of the parties relevant expert groups “.
Ahead of the talks on Tuesday, an Iranian prosecutor said 10 officials were charged with the military shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane last year, in which 176 people died.
Iran received international criticism last month for publishing a final report accusing human error but holding no one responsible for it.