On Monday, after Iran’s foreign minister said Tehran would consider having direct talks but had made no decision, the US State Department announced that it remains open to meeting with Iranian officials directly to discuss the nuclear deal and other issues.
Saying that achieving such an agreement was an uncertain proposition, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said at a briefing that the US had not made Iran’s releasing four Americans a condition of reaching an agreement for both nations to resume compliance with the nuclear deal.
After Tehran said it would consider such an option, the State Department said the US was prepared to hold direct talks with Iran earlier in the day.
A State Department spokesperson said, “We are prepared to meet directly.”
Referring to the nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, the spokesperson said, “We have long held the position that it would be more productive to engage with Iran directly, on both JCPOA negotiations and other issues.”
The official further stated, “Given the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances, we are almost out of time to reach an understanding on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA.”
Spokesperson Ned Price’s comments came after Iran said Monday it will consider direct talks with the United States during ongoing negotiations in Vienna aimed at restoring the deal.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed in televised remarks that “Iran is not currently talking with the US directly.”
However, he added that, if they get to a point where reaching a good agreement with solid guarantees requires a level of talks with the US during the negotiation process, they will not ignore that in their work schedule.