German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
German Foreign Minister Heiko MaasReuters

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday urged Iran to return to the Vienna negotiations on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal as soon as possible.

"If we don't want to jeopardize what we have achieved so far in Vienna we cannot stretch out the negotiations into eternity," Maas told journalists in Berlin, according to Reuters, adding, "We expect Iran to return to the negotiating table in Vienna as soon as possible.”

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, but has been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

However, Iran recently paused the talks and announced they will not resume before the new government takes office.

The new government is headed by hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, who was sworn in as president of Iran last week and vowed to bring an end to US sanctions on the Islamic Republic, denouncing the sanctions as “illegal”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that nuclear talks with Iran "cannot go on indefinitely" but that Washington was "fully prepared" to continue negotiations.

"We're committed to diplomacy, but this process cannot go on indefinitely... we look to see what Iran is ready to do or not ready to do and remain fully prepared to return to Vienna to continue negotiations," he stated.