Iran on Friday rejected any meeting with the United States in Vienna, where it is taking part next week in a session with the remaining participants in its 2015 nuclear deal.
“The United States will not attend any meeting in which Iran is present, including the meeting of the joint commission (of the nuclear accord), and that is certain,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, according to Reuters.
“It is their business, whether other parties to the (nuclear accord) seek to consult bilaterally or multilaterally with the United States…, whether in Vienna or elsewhere. The Iranian delegation will not have any talks with the US delegation at any level,” he stressed.
His statement came after a senior US administration official told CNN that the members of the Iran nuclear deal and the United States will visit Vienna next week in the first effort to kickstart face-to-face negotiations to salvage the pact.
The official said that senior officials from the governments of Iran, France, the UK, Germany, Russia, China, the US and the EU will all be in the same city. The American and Iranian officials will not meet directly, but the US team plans to meet officials from the other countries that are signatories to the deal.
On Friday, officials from Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain met virtually to discuss a possible return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Current President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal but has stressed that Iran must resume compliance with it before any negotiations on a US return to the agreement.
The US recently accepted Europe's offer to mediate conversations with Iran regarding the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran, however, rejected the proposal, claiming that the “time was not right” to hold such talks.
On Monday, it was reported that Biden is planning to put forth a new proposal to jump-start talks with Iran.
The proposal asks Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities, such as work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, in exchange for some relief from US economic sanctions.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of the Seventh Day of Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)