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Biden says Iran nuclear talks advancing, not time to call it quits

US president says all six world powers are on the same page in negotiations opposite Tehran on reviving 2015 pact, week after top diplomat says time running out

US President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP/Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it is “not time to give up” on talks with Iran aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

“It’s not time to give up,” Biden said at a press conference to mark his first year in the White House.

“There is some progress being made,” he said.

“P5+1 are on the same page but it remains to be seen,” Biden said in a reference to the nations taking part in the negotiations in Vienna.

Talks to restore the 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers — United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany — began last year but stopped in June as Iran elected ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi.

The talks resumed in November.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that there were only “a few weeks left” to save the Iran nuclear deal, and the United States is ready to look at “other options” if the talks fail.

A person walks in front of Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, Dec. 09, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Gruber)

The 2015 deal offered Iran much-needed relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy, in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Then-president Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018 prompted Tehran to walk back on its commitments.

Officials in Israel, which is seeking significantly more robust curbs on Iranian activities backed by the credible threat of military action, have said the country is not bound by the agreement and will act as it sees fit to protect its citizens.

The Times of Israel contributed to this report.

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