Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in ViennaReuters

Iraq's Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, said during a visit to Tehran on Thursday that the time has come for the Islamic Republic and the United States to negotiate directly on Iran's nuclear ambitions, AFP reports.

"We call for, and this is no secret, direct negotiations between the two parties," Hussein told a joint press conference.

"Iraq's interest is in helping the two parties to sit round a table and talk," he added.

"We have proposed this to the Americans and have made this proposal (to Iran) and even before our visit to Tehran. It is better that a direct meeting take place between the American party and the Iranian party," Hussein continued.

Talks between Iran and world powers on a return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal resumed in Vienna earlier this month before being adjourned last week.

The European parties who took part in the talks said that "some technical progress" had been made but warned they were "rapidly reaching the end of the road".

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly demanded that the US lift sanctions imposed on Iran and also reassure Iran it will not abandon the deal again as a precondition for its returning to compliance with the deal.

Hussein said on Thursday that Iraq felt there was a "problem" with the negotiating mechanism at the Vienna talks.

"The negotiations with the American side are indirect, through the European envoy," he said, adding, "We think the time has come for direct talks between Washington and Tehran to reach common understandings not just on the nuclear issue, but also on sanctions."

"We need direct contact between the two parties and we are working towards that," Hussein said.