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US, Iran ready for direct nuclear negotiations

Iran for the first time has said it is open to direct nuclear negotiations with the United States, which declared itself ready to hold talks “urgently” –– in a possible turning point in efforts to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord.

“If during the negotiation process we get to a point that reaching a good agreement with solid guarantees requires a level of talks with the US, we will not ignore that in our work schedule,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Monday.

A US State Department spokesperson reiterated after the Iranian comments that the United States is “prepared to meet directly.”

“We have long held the position that it would be more productive to engage with Iran directly, on both JCPOA negotiations and other issues,” the spokesperson said, referring to the nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Given the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances, we are almost out of time to reach an understanding on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” the official added.

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