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UPDATE 1-Germany urges Iran to return to nuclear talks "as soon as possible"

reuters.com · 09/01/2021 09:20
UPDATE 1-Germany urges Iran to return to nuclear talks "as soon as possible"

Adds background, detail

- Germany called on Iran to resume nuclear talks with six world powers "as soon as possible" to revive a 2015 nuclear deal, the foreign ministry said, after a break in discussions following the election of a hardline Iranian president in June.

"We vehemently ask Iran to return to the negotiating table constructively and as soon as possible," a ministry spokesperson told a briefing. "We are ready to do so, but the time window won't be open indefinitely."

A sixth round of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington was adjourned two days after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran's president. Raisi took office on August 5.

Since April, Iran and six powers have tried to work out how Tehran and Washington can both return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Tehran.

In reaction, Tehran has violated the nuclear limits of the accord, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear work in exchange for lifting international sanctions.

Last month, France, Germany and Britain voiced grave concern about reports from the U.N. nuclear watchdog confirming Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20% fissile purity for the first time and lifted production capacity of uranium enriched to 60%. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.nL8N2PQ47L

The next round of talks has yet to be scheduled.

Two senior Iranian officials told Reuters in July Raisi planned to adopt “a harder line” in the talks. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Monday the talks might resume in "two to three months".

(Reporting by Alexander Ratz, writing by Emma Thomasson and Parisa Hafezi, editing by Kirsti Knolle, William Maclean)