The European Union official coordinating indirect talks between Washington and Tehran on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has confirmed that the talks will resume on December 9 in Vienna after a break of a few days.
EU diplomat Enrique Mora made the announcement on Twitter, saying a joint commission and a number of bilateral and multilateral contacts will take place.
Rob Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, plans to travel to Vienna over the weekend, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced on December 8.
Price told reporters that the United States understands that the schedule calls for a day of meetings before the heads of delegations are expected to attend, so Malley and his delegation will plan to join the talks over the weekend.
Price also stressed that the U.S. delegation will aim to quickly assess Tehran's posture.
'We should know in pretty short order if the Iranians are going...to negotiate in good faith,' he said.
The United States and European powers voiced disappointment last week over what they said was Iran's lack of seriousness in the negotiations.
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Washington has warned it will not let Tehran block negotiations for much longer while developing its nuclear program at the same time.
The United States has not laid out an ultimatum, but Price said: 'It will not always be in our interest to seek a return to the JCPOA,' using the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The JCPOA was agreed between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. The accord aimed to curb Iran's nuclear program to ensure it could not develop an atomic weapon in exchange for sanctions relief.
It began unraveling in 2018 when then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions, prompting Iran to exceed limits on its nuclear program.
Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful.
The talks seek to find a way for the United States and Iran to resume compliance with the agreement.
Diplomats from other nations have had to shuttle between the U.S. and Iranian teams because Tehran has refused face-to-face meetings with U.S. officials.
With reporting by AFP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036