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Russian, Iranian senior diplomats discuss prospects for restoring Iran nuclear deal

MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Issues of the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program were the focus of a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Bagheri Kani, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

"The sides exchanged views on a range of international problems of mutual interest, as well as on some bilateral matters. Special attention was focused on the prospects of restoring the full-scale implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear program," it said.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed by Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France) and Germany in 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under the total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for the abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

The future of the deal was called into question after the United States’ unilateral withdrawal in May 2018. The United States’ current president, Joe Biden, has repeatedly signaled that Washington is ready to return to the nuclear deal. Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, the United States, and France have been negotiating with Iran for a possible restoration of the deal in its original format since April 2021.

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Wednesday that Biden is looking at a possible military option not to let Iran develop nuclear weapons, adding, however, that this is currently unnecessary.