.
.
.
.
Iran nuclear deal

Top US diplomat on Iran to lead delegation for nuclear deal talks in Vienna

State Department Spokesman Ned Price reiterated previous comments that the US was ready to sit down for direct talks with Iran, although none were scheduled

Published: Updated:

US Special Envoy Rob Malley will lead Washington's delegation to Vienna for indirect talks with Iran, the State Department announced Monday.

State Department Spokesman Ned Price reiterated previous comments that the US was ready to sit down for direct talks with Iran, although none were scheduled.

For all the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

But Price was not upbeat of a quick result. “We don't underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. These are early days. We don’t anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough as these discussions, we fully expect, will be difficult.”

Price said “compliance for compliance,” would be a successful result. He explained that this would include a way to figure out how Iran would return to the now-defunct Iran nuclear deal.

In return, the US would also do the same and would ease crushing economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

“We are not seeking to drag these talks on any longer than necessary. But we’re also not going to cut corners given the profound stakes that are at play here,” Price said.

Asked if non-nuclear sanctions being lifted was an option, Price said: “We certainly will not entertain unilateral gestures or concessions to induce Iran to a better place. Our goal at these talks in Vienna is to set the stage for that mutual return to compliance. The original formulation is one that still holds today.”

Read more: Biden’s allies, rivals in Senate unify to call for comprehensive US deal with Iran