Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna Handout, Reuters

Iran on Monday called for a new meeting "as soon as possible" in the talks that have been held in Vienna aimed at restoring its frayed 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

"It is appropriate that a face-to-face meeting is held as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told his weekly press conference, according to the AFP news agency.

"It is not yet decided where and when to have this meeting and at what level it should be held, but it is on the agenda," he added.

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, but has held several rounds of indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.

Iran and the United States have been exchanging views through the European coordinator of the Vienna talks, Enrique Mora.

Khatibzadeh said on Monday Iran and the European Union agreed that "prolonging the pause in the negotiations is not in anyone's interest".

He added that the talks "have not stopped and are continuing through the coordinator of the Vienna negotiations".

Negotiations nearly reached completion last month before Moscow demanded that its trade with Iran be exempted from Western sanctions over Ukraine, throwing the process into disarray.

Days later, Moscow said it had received the necessary guarantees.

Among the key remaining sticking points in the talks is Iran's demand that Washington delist its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from a US terror list.

"It is clear that if the US had given the right answers to the remaining issues ... everyone would have been in Vienna by now," said Khatibzadeh.

Last month it was reported that the Biden administration is considering removing terrorism sanctions from the IRGC as part of negotiations to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

However, a subsequent report in The Washington Post said that the Biden administration plans to reject the Iranian demand.

Last week, State Department spokesman Ned Price appeared to dismiss the Iranian demand regarding the IRGC blacklisting.

"If Iran wants sanctions lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they'll need to address concerns of ours that go beyond the JCPOA," Price said when asked about the issue.

"If they do not want to use these talks to resolve other bilateral issues, then we are confident we can very quickly reach an understanding on the JCPOA and begin to reimplement the deal itself," Price told reporters.