09:28 GMT25 February 2021
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    Latest announcement by the US State Department comes after the agency revealed it was ready to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a "diplomatic way forward on Iran's nuclear program."

    The US declared on Friday that it would continue to discourage countries from providing any weapons to Iran, a day after it opted to reverse the Trump administration's 2020 effort to initiate snapback sanctions against Tehran over alleged violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

    Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, remarked during the Friday briefing that "regardless of the UN's Iran sanctions architecture, we will continue to use our authorities to dissuade countries from providing arms to Iran."

    He later remarked that "reversing the snapback position adopted by the previous administration ... strengthens our position to engage the UN Security Council on Iran."

    Price previously revealed on Thursday that the US was willing to accept an invitation to attend a P5+1 meeting alongside Iran in an effort to restart diplomatic talks with Iranian officials over the JCPOA, which the US withdrew from in 2018 under the Trump administration.

    Incidentally, on the same day, Washington also informed the United Nations Security Council it would be rescinding the Trump-era bid to trigger snapback sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. The ban itself came as a decade-old UN arms embargo against Iran was set to expire.

    The US' stance is largely seen as a step to establish the groundwork that could break the ongoing impasse between Washington and Tehran, both of whom have insisted that the other must act first before the two countries can resume friendlier ties.

    Two senior State Department officials told NPR both developments were seen as "obstacles to multilateral diplomacy." However, one official indicated that while a meeting would not be a "breakthrough," it would signal a first step.

    Also on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with France, Germany and the UK, which make up the E3, and noted the US was indeed prepared for negotiations in order to establish a means in which Iran can come back into compliance with the 2015 deal.

    The meeting also saw the group call on Iran to avoid taking any further steps at pausing protocols or limiting the International Atomic Energy Agency access to Iran's nuclear sites, a move which saw Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urge Washington to end the Trump-era's "legacy of economic terrorism against Iran."

    Iran began backing away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal following the US withdrawal, and most recently saw the country begin to increase its uranium enrichment at the Fordow enrichment complex. Although Iran has been blasted over the development, the level of enriched fuel is nowhere near sufficient enough to produce a nuclear weapon.

    The Biden administration has voiced its intention to possibly negotiate a new nuclear deal but the initiative has been firmly rejected by Iran.


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    Weapons, US, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Nuclear, State Department, iran
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