Iran, world powers to discuss possible U.S. return to nuclear deal as a major breakthrough

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Iran, world powers to discuss possible U.S. return to nuclear deal as a major breakthrough
World powers, Iran to discuss US return to nuclear deal

World powers and Iran will meet virtually on Friday to discuss the possible return of the United States to the Iran nuclear deal, in a development already welcomed by Washington as “positive initiative”.

According to an EU statement, representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran — the countries still party to the agreement after the US left will attend Friday’s meeting.

“Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” the EU said in statement on Thursday, referring to the deal by its formal name.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that “we obviously welcome this as a positive step”.

The online meeting will be chaired by senior European Union diplomat Enrique Mora on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Donald Trump denounced the deal in 2018 unilaterally slapping more anctions against Iran.

Biden has promised to rejoin the agreement on the condition that Iran first returns to respecting the commitments it dropped in retaliation for Trump’s decision.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also said his country may return to full compliance of the JCPOA if Tehran deems Washington has honoured its commitments.

Earlier this week, multiple reports said the Biden administration offered a new proposal, including some sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for halting 20 percent uranium enrichment, to jump-start the negotiations.