Diplomats from major powers met separately with Iran and the United States to discuss how to bring both back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that Washington abandoned three years ago.
Neither the United States nor Iran expect fast breakthroughs in the talks that began in Vienna on Tuesday, with European and other diplomats acting as intermediaries because Tehran rejects face-to-face talks for now.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. He reimposed U.S. sanctions, prompting Iran in turn to violate the accord’s atomic limits.
The deal’s remaining parties – Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – agreed on Tuesday to form two expert-level groups whose job is to marry lists of sanctions that the United States could lift with nuclear obligations Iran should meet.
Diplomats said the working groups, which are chaired by the European Union and exclude the United States, met yesterday and suggested they would know in a matter of weeks whether they might bear fruit before Iran’s June 18 presidential elections.