May 29
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Saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program requires more progress than the parties have made so far, U.S. State Department press chief Ned Price said this on Tuesday at a regular briefing for reporters.

Price said that the current round of talks on restoring the JCPOA in Vienna is ongoing and talked about the modest progress in recent days.

Price called the decision by the administration of 45th U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the JCPOA “ill-considered”. He stressed that the current head of state, Joe Biden, took office without these rigorous protocols for verifying and monitoring Iran's nuclear program, which provided the JCPOA. The diplomat added that the nuclear deal aims to permanently and verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

He once again criticized Trump, who promised a better deal instead of the JCPOA. The U.S. foreign policy official said that since the previous administration withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran has been given the opportunity to fulfill its nuclear promises in short order.

“We were told that we’d be in a better position to take on the full set of challenges that Iran poses, whether its ballistic missiles, whether it is support to terrorism, whether it’s human rights violations.  How exactly were we supposed to do that when it was the United States and not Iran that was isolated as a result of the decision to abandon a deal and a protocol that was working. That’s just the starting point that we had to accept on January 20th of this year.  It was an unfortunate starting point, but that’s the starting point from which we’ve been working.” - Price concluded.

On January 3, the eighth round of talks resumed in the Austrian capital after a New Year's break, with the goal of restoring the JCPOA to its original form and bringing the United States back into the multilateral agreement. Following a meeting of the Joint Commission of Iran and the five international mediators (Russia, Britain, Germany, China and France), the sides agreed to accelerate the process of working on the draft agreement and complete it by early February.

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