U.S. tactics loom large as Iran, major powers discuss nuclear deal

 Senior diplomats from Iran and five major powers gathered in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss their troubled nuclear agreement that has been facing intense pressure from the U.S.

Having left the pact in 2018, the U.S. launched a formal bid in August to revive UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The move is being opposed by Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China, which remain loyal to the agreement reached in Vienna in 2015.

The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was aimed at preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

“Now the whole world is watching what the JCPOA member states will do next against the U.S. effort, and this is quite important for clarifying the future route of cooperation,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB in Vienna.

While the five powers have said they want to salvage the nuclear deal, they have also expressed concern about Iran expanding its uranium enrichment above agreed limits – a move that came in reaction to the U.S. exit from the deal.

Britain, France and Germany had also pressured Iran to finally let international nuclear inspectors visit two suspect sites after months of stalling.

Last week, Tehran took a rare conciliatory step and agreed to these inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

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