Iran, China and the EU will discuss the return of the United States to the nuclear deal

A statement from the European Union said that Iran and other world powers remaining in the 2015 nuclear deal would hold a virtual meeting on Friday to discuss the US’s return to the deal.

The discussion, which will be attended by representatives of Iran, Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, will be chaired by EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell and will address how the landmark agreement can be fully implemented by all parties.

China on Friday called on the United States to lift all illegal sanctions against Iran, saying the country’s nuclear problem was at a “critical stage.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunin accused Washington of unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement with Iran as the “root cause” of the problem, saying China welcomed the US return.

“We will discuss a roadmap for the simultaneous and reciprocal resumption of compliance by both the United States and Iran, and return the agreement to the right path,” Hua told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.

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The United States is trying to use Europe as a mediator with Iran after Tehran refused to negotiate with the Biden administration to revive an agreement that former President Donald Trump refused. After Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, Iran violated some of the restrictions it imposed on its nuclear program.

“We obviously welcome this as a positive step,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington on Thursday. He said the United States was ready to return to the 2015 agreement, “consistent with the fact that” Iran is doing the same and exploring “the best way to achieve this, including through a series of joint initial steps.”

“We have considered options for this, including during indirect talks through our joint European partners,” Price said.

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said this month that his nation was “in no hurry” to revive the nuclear deal, and said US policy was doomed to failure if sanctions against the Islamic Republic were not lifted.

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