Iran nuclear deal: Indirect talks resume in Vienna as Tehran expands enrichment

Seeking to salvage the agreement on Tehran’s atomic ambitions, negotiations kicked off a fresh round of talks over Iran’s nuclear programme in Vienna on Thursday.

While the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned there is no room left for further major compromises, both Tehran and Washington have played down the prospect of a breakthrough in this round of talks.

Iranian state media reported that chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and the EU’s Enrique Mora met to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.

Mora will shuttle between Kani and US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley as Iran refuses to hold direct talks with America.

Saying in a tweet the United States should “show maturity & act responsibly,” Kani signalled little flexibility to resolve remaining thorny issues and put the onus on the White House to compromise.

Highlighting that the negotiations “are pretty much complete at this point,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Washington has presented its final offer to Iran, and now the ball is in Tehran’s court.

If the West abandons an effort to investigate manmade traces of uranium found at previously undisclosed sites in Iran, then turned-off surveillance cameras of the International Atomic Energy Agency would be switched back on, according to Tehran’s civilian nuclear chief.

The United States had refused Iran’s demand to remove its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from Washington’s terrorism list.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium under the watch of UN inspectors in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Saying he would negotiate a stronger deal, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the accord in 2018.

(With inputs from agencies)

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