Thu, 17 Jun 2021

The remaining parties in the Iranian nuclear deal have begun a meeting with officials from the Islamic republic in a bid to save the 2015 landmark agreement that the United States abandoned last year.

The talks in Vienna on December 6 bring together officials from Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia as well as Iran.

The meeting in the Austria capital comes amid heightened tensions between the West and Iran.

Tehran has rolled backed its commitments under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after Washington pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and reinstated sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy -- referred to collectively as the "E3" powers -- accused Iran of developing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the allegation as a "desperate falsehood." He also said the three countries had exhibited their "miserable incompetence" in fulfilling their commitments under the deal.

The E3 powers are reported to be considering triggering a mechanism in the deal that could lead to the reimposition of United Nations sanctions.

Unnamed diplomats quoted by Reuters said such a decision would likely not be made until January, when Iran is expected to further reduce its adherence to the pact, under which it agreed to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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