Iran: No talks with USA during Vienna meeting

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Iran's insistence on USA sanctions being removed in a single step may may progress hard, according to an European Union official, who said working groups would be created with the aim of matching lists of sanctions that the United States could lift and nuclear obligations that Iran should meet.

The former national security advisor to VP Cheney expresses concern over talks to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.

"In return, Iran will be ready to reverse its remedial measures, which were taken because of the opposite side's violation of the treaty", Khatibzadeh said, repeating a bottom line voiced in recent weeks by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Among them are anti-terrorism sanctions on Iran's Central Bank and the terrorism designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian military responsible for proxies and domestic repression. "So obviously, if they want to come back, they will have to lift all those sanctions, all together, in one step".

In January, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said, "I fear returning to the JCPOA without concrete efforts to address Iran's other unsafe and destabilizing activity would be insufficient".

USA and Iranian delegates held separate meetings with officials from the European Union and others who served as intermediaries in the talks that began in Vienna on Tuesday.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said after the talks that they were constructive and heading in the right direction.

The United States will not take part directly in the discussions, which will also involve China, Germany, Russia, and Britain.

Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and President Joe Biden has said rejoining the agreement is a priority for his administration.

The ultimate goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something it insists it doesn't want to do.

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On Tuesday, Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov described the Joint Commission meeting as "successful".

"The restoration of JCPOA will not happen immediately".

Iran takes the view that meetings with the USA are "unnecessary" as there is nothing to negotiate in the deal itself.

Massrali said "joint efforts must be made" to see "what sanctions can be lifted and how to settle the nuclear issue".

While Tehran has repeatedly rebuffed "direct and indirect negotiations" with its old foe, Washington said on Monday it expected the talks to be hard. "But we believe this is a healthy step forward", Price said in a statement.

"It is a potentially useful step as we seek to determine what it is that the Iranians are prepared to do to return to compliance with the stringent limitations under the 2015 deal, and as a result what we might need to do to return to compliance ourselves", Price said. But there have been signs that Tehran is willing to drop its insistence that Washington lifts its unilateral sanctions as a precondition to renewed negotiations. China would invest $400 billion over twenty-five years in dozens of fields, including banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, health care and information technology, and in return would be guaranteed a regular supply of Iranian oil on heavily discounted terms during that period, according to that draft.

A statement issued after parties to the accord met virtually on Friday said the aim of their meeting Tuesday is to "clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures, including through convening meetings of the relevant expert groups".

"This is going to involve discussions about identifying the steps that the USA has to take and identifying the steps that Iran is going to have to take", Malley told NPR radio on Tuesday morning.

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