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The US urges direct nuclear negotiations with Iran


WASHINGTON: The time for nuclear talks with Iran was running out, and encouraged Tehran to accept to direct discussions to help reach a settlement, senior US official said on Monday.

Highlighting the background, the official said that Iran’s nuclear programme was on the verge of “breakout” toward nuclear weapons capability, with just “weeks” to achieve an agreement that would halt the programme and remove sanctions on the nation.

“I think we’re at the point where some of the most critical political decisions have to be made by all sides” in the talks to revive the 2015 deal involving Iran, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, the official said.

“If our goal is to reach an understanding quickly, the optimal way to do that, in any negotiation, is for the parties that have the most at stake to meet directly,” the official said, referring to the United States and Iran.

“That’s been our view from the outset: we’re prepared to meet with Iran if they’re prepared to meet with us.”

Iran’s enrichment programme, according to the official, is extremely near to creating enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

“Considering how little time is left, given how essential the decisions that need to be taken are,” the person added, it would be “very terrible” if the two parties did not have direct talks.

The US official said Monday that not all of the details in a possible agreement had been resolved.

“But we are prepared to make those choices,” “We can see a path to a deal if those decisions are made and if it’s done quickly.” the official said.


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