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Talks to revive Iran nuclear deal to resume in Vienna

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By Josephine Joly  with AFP
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President Hassan Rouhani (R) listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran on April 10, 2021.
President Hassan Rouhani (R) listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran on April 10, 2021.   -   Copyright  AP / Office of the Iranian Presidency

Tehran has announced it will resume talks with world powers later this month aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

The 2015 agreement saw Iran agree to restrict its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

But in 2018, the US, under the leadership of Donald Trump, pulled out of the deal, which had initially been agreed by Washington, the UK, France, Russia, Germany and China.

Now there are moves to revive it.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who serves as Tehran's chief negotiator, announced in a tweet that discussions would resume in Vienna on November 29.

The negotiations in Vienna come amid mounting pressure on Iran, with Western nations warning that the country's nuclear work is advancing to dangerous levels.

EU envoy Enrique Mora, who led six rounds of talks earlier this year and recently flew to Tehran to seek progress, will again chair the November 29 meeting, the European Union announced.

The US had previously pulled out of the talks under Trump's administration, but his successor President Joe Biden took office hoping to return to the 2015 agreement.

The nuclear negotiations have been on hold after the June election of Iran's new hardline president Ebrahim Raisi.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Washington welcomed the announcement but warned that "Iran's nuclear provocations and escalations won't provide them with any additional negotiating leverage when talks resume".

"We do welcome the EU's announcement that they have coordinated with all participants and that talks on the mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA will resume for a seventh-round on Monday, November 29th," Price went on.

He said he hoped the Iranian delegation comes prepared to "negotiate quickly".

"We believe that if the Iranians are serious, we can manage to do that in relatively short order," Price added. "But we've also been clear that this pause has dragged on for some time, that this window of opportunity will not be open forever."