President Hassan Rouhani has called the indirect talks between Iran and the US a “new chapter” between the pair, a day after the two began their first step towards restarting the 2015 nuclear deal.
On Tuesday, Iranian and American officials began indirect talks on the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with intermediaries from the other signatories to the agreement carrying messages between the two delegations.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani brought up the previous day’s meetings and declared that “a new chapter has just been opened.”
If [Washington] shows it is honest and sincere, that’s all we ask.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price showed similar optimism over the talks after day one, describing them as “constructive” and saying this was “certainly [a] welcome step.”
The US pulled out of the deal unilaterally in 2018 and instituted a range of sanctions on Iran, but President Joe Biden has pledged the country will return to the agreement – if Tehran is in compliance with its terms.
Tehran has refused to speak directly to US officials until those sanctions imposed during the Trump administration are removed, while Washington has rejected meeting with Iran while the state continues to violate its commitments under the nuclear deal.
It’s not clear what, if any, progress was made during the first day of the meeting, being held in Vienna, Austria. However, talks are set to start again on Friday, according to diplomats involved in proceedings.
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