USA sees common interest with China on Iran

AUSTRIA-EU-IRAN-NUCLEAR-DIPLOMACY

AUSTRIA-EU-IRAN-NUCLEAR-DIPLOMACY

"Competition, as you know, does define our relationship with China, but we do have, in some cases, rather narrow areas of tactical alignment", State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

The meeting of the deal's Joint Commission would also discuss how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides.

The United States said Wednesday that it has a shared interest with Beijing in curbing Iran's nuclear program, declining to fan the flames over a 25-year cooperation pact signed by the frequent USA nemeses.

"We've been looking at options for doing so, including with indirect conversations through our European partners", Price added.

Friday's meeting was chaired by the EEAS deputy secretary-general, Enrique Mora. President Joe Biden has said the USA will rejoin the nuclear deal once Tehran returns to full compliance with its agreements under the deal.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump however withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in 2018 and tightened sanctions on Iran. Unable to reap the economic benefits of the deal, Iran has argued that it should not be bound by the limits it puts on its nuclear program, and has gradually breached its commitments.

But Biden has promised to rejoin the agreement on condition Tehran first returns to respecting the commitments abandoned in retaliation for Trump's decision.

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The State Department also confirmed Thursday that the U.S. had granted Iraq an extension to a sanctions waiver allowing it to import Iranian gas.

On Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slammed the Biden administration for the very same thing - pursuing the policies of the former U.S. commander-in-chief by punishing Iran's actions via sanctions, while two years ago, Biden himself criticized that approach. The waiver was renewed for 120 days, an increase in shorter extensions that had become commonplace during the Trump administration.

This is the beginning of what is expected to be a long process of negotiations to bring the Iran and the United States back into compliance with the deal.

"In the interim, renewal of the sanctions waiver is appropriate, until the agreement and development of the Iraqi energy sector can be fully realized and implemented.", he said.

The accord was signed by Iran in Vienna in 2015 with the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France and United Kingdom, under an European Union chair.

It was created to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring a nuclear arsenal by imposing strict limits on its nuclear program and force it to remain exclusively civilian and peaceful.

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