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Iran nuclear deal

Third round of US-Iran talks on nuclear deal later this week: EU

Published: Updated:

The third round of indirect talks between the United States and Iran will take place this week, the European Union announced on Monday.

“Participants will continue their discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA,” a statement from the EU read.

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EU Political Director Enrique Mora will chair the talks, which are being held in Vienna.

The Biden administration has been intent on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by then-President Barack Obama. But sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have made it difficult for President Joe Biden and his team, led by Special Envoy Rob Malley, to return to the previous deal.

Since the beginning of the month, European officials along with Russian and Chinese diplomats have engaged in shuttle diplomacy between the US and Iran.

Washington, Tehran and the mediators in Europe have cited progress during the first two rounds of talks; however, disagreements are still present over what sanctions the US will lift on Iran.

A step-by-step approach, which Iran reportedly pitched, has been ruled out, according to a senior State Department official. The deal on the table now includes a return to full compliance by the two countries simultaneously to the JCPOA.

Biden will face stiff opposition and legal roadblocks at home as Republicans ramp up their efforts to stall a return to the now-defunct JCPOA agreement.

Republicans argue that the deal was flawed and must include Iran’s support for militias and proxies in the Middle East and its ballistic missile program. Neither of the two issues was in the 2015 deal.

Israeli officials are also scheduled to land in Washington later this week to discuss the ongoing negotiations over a new deal. Tel Aviv has voiced its opposition to a new deal that does not address Iran’s malign activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.

Read more: US says there have been positive talks with Iran, but 'long road ahead' before deal