Iran nuclear talks restart in Vienna after pause

The Coburg Palais, the venue of the Iran nuclear talks, is pictured in Vienna, on November 29, 2021. (Vladimir Simicek/AFP)
The Coburg Palais, the venue of the Iran nuclear talks, is pictured in Vienna, on November 29, 2021. (Vladimir Simicek/AFP)

Negotiations between Iran and world powers aimed at salvaging a tattered 2015 nuclear deal resume in Vienna after a few days’ pause, with tensions high after Tehran made demands last week that European countries strongly criticized.

A meeting of all the deal’s remaining signatories — Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — is chaired by European Union diplomat Enrique Mora.

The United States has participated indirectly in the ongoing talks because it withdrew from the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. US President Joe Biden has signaled that he wants to rejoin the deal.

Washington plans to send a delegation led by Robert Malley, the special US envoy for Iran, to Vienna over the weekend.

European diplomats urged Tehran to come back with “realistic proposals” after the Iranian delegation made numerous demands last week that other parties to the accord deemed unacceptable. US and European representatives at the nuclear talks have voiced pessimism and frustration over Iran’s demands.

Last week’s talks were the first in over five months, a gap caused by a new hardline government assuming power in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Israeli and American military leaders are set to discuss possible military drills to practice destroying Iranian nuclear facilities in a potential worst-case scenario, a senior US official said.

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