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U.S. Urges Raisi's Iran To Resume Nuclear Talks 'Soon'


U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price

The United States has urged Iran to return to talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal after the new hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi, said he would seek a diplomatic way to end sanctions.

"We urge Iran to return to the negotiations soon," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a news briefing on August 5. "For us, this is an urgent priority."

Raisi called for a lifting of the sanctions during his inauguration speech earlier on August 5.

"The sanctions must be lifted,” Raisi said. “We will support any diplomatic plan that supports this goal."​

"If President Raisi is genuine in his determination to see the sanctions lifted, well that is precisely what's on the table in Vienna," Price said, referring to indirect talks in the Austrian capital on reviving the nuclear accord which former U.S. President Donald Trump exited in 2018 while reimposing tough sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

"The opportunity to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA won't last forever," Price said, referring to the deal by its formal name: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The talks in Vienna have remained stalled after six rounds.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, said last month that the next round of nuclear talks must wait until Raisi takes office.

The 2015 nuclear deal imposed significant restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the deal if Iran returns to full compliance.

​Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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