Iran nuclear talks: What you need to know

Negotiations to bring the United States and Iran back into a landmark nuclear deal are set to resume on Thursday in Vienna amid signs of progress – but also under the shadow of an attack this week on Iran’s main nuclear facility.

In response to the attack on Natanz nuclear facility, for which Tehran blamed Israel, Iran decided to ramp up uranium enrichment to a new high of 60 percent purity, drawing concern from European powers and the US.

Negotiations to bring the United States and Iran back into a landmark nuclear deal are set to resume on Thursday in Vienna amid signs of progress – but also under the shadow of an attack this week on Iran’s main nuclear facility.

In response to the attack on Natanz nuclear facility, for which Tehran blamed Israel, Iran decided to ramp up uranium enrichment to a new high of 60 percent purity, drawing concern from European powers and the US.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has pledged to revive the deal as part of his election manifesto. Biden was the vice president when the deal was formalised.

But his top diplomat Antony Blinken has said that the deal needs to be renegotiated to address Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional influence such as backing rebel groups as part of regional proxy wars.

Regional powers and key US allies – Saudi Arabia and Israel – have opposed any deal with Iran, with Israel accusing Tehran of secretly developing a nuclear weapon. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear facilities are under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

 

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