15:12 GMT16 June 2021
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    A fourth round of talks between the participants of the nuclear deal is expected to resume in Vienna on Friday with Washington saying that a “swift” return to the deal is possible.

    Washington is ready to “do everything that it can” to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons if the Vienna talks on the nuclear deal fail, US State Department said.

    “We’re prepared for that scenario as well, but the scenario that we prefer, that’s in our interest and that is in Iran’s interest, is to come back into mutual compliance and that’s what we’re… in Vienna to try and achieve,” the State Department senior official told reporters in a conference call on Thursday.

    According to the official, it depends on Iran making the political decision to accept concessions the US is prepared to make and to return to compliance with the accord.

    The US, however, plans to only ease Trump-era sanctions on Tehran that it believes are in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the Biden administration saying that it will use a return to compliance with the nuclear deal to negotiate a "longer and stronger" deal that addresses Iran’s other “aggressive” activity.

    In 2015, Iran signed the JCPOA with the P5+1 group of countries, which required it to scale back its nuclear programme and downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief.

    Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018, re-imposed sanctions on Iran, and initiated even stricter financial hurdles, much to the disappointment of the other signatories. Trump did it as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

    As a response to the JCPOA violation, Tehran has taken several steps against denuclearisation, arguing that since the US abandoned the deal first, they should take the first step in renegotiating and ultimately removing sanctions.

    Talks in Vienna on Washington and Tehran's possible return to the nuclear deal are ongoing. In late April, Iran praised the progress in Vienna, saying that negotiations were "on [the] right track" and pledging to return to nuclear commitments that Tehran had stepped away from after the Trump withdrawal, as soon as US sanctions against the country are lifted.

    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), nuclear, Iran, US
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