Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna Reuters

Russia's chief negotiator in talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran said on Friday that he thought a deal was possible in the middle of next week.

"As far as I know, the Iranians are not ready for direct talks (with the United States)," Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters, according to Reuters.

"We will have a deal maybe in the middle of next week. We are talking about the last efforts before crossing the finish line," he added.

Meanwhile, the chief British envoy to the nuclear talks said the talks are close to reaching an agreement.

"We are close. E3 negotiators leaving Vienna briefly to update Ministers on state of play. Ready to return soon," Stephanie Al-Qaq said on Twitter, referring to the chief British, French and German diplomats involved in the talks.

The comments come a day after the US said that an agreement on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is close.

“We are close to a possible deal,” Jalina Porter, the US State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson, told reporters, according to Reuters.

She cautioned, however, that unsolved issues remained and that time was of the essence given the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances.

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

However, it has held several rounds of indirect talks with the US on reviving the deal. The talks, held in Vienna, have been mediated by the European parties to the 2015 deal.

Meanwhile, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi will travel to Tehran on Saturday, where he is hoping to agree on a process that would lead to the end of the IAEA’s investigation of Iran’s nuclear program.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Grossi on Thursday ahead of Grossi’s trip to Tehran.

In their conversation, the Prime Minister emphasized Israel's positions regarding the nuclear talks in Vienna, as well as regarding the open cases in the IAEA relating to the Iranian weapons program.

The Prime Minister also emphasized Israel's expectation that the IAEA would act as a professional and impartial supervisory body. The two agreed to stay in regular contact.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)