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Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio attend a plenary session on the first day of the G7 foreign ministers summit in Liverpool, north-west England on December 11, 2021. —AFP pic
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio attend a plenary session on the first day of the G7 foreign ministers summit in Liverpool, north-west England on December 11, 2021. —AFP pic

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LIVERPOOL, England, Dec 11 (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a “productive” meeting with counterparts from Britain, Germany and France yesterday, discussing the way forward for talks on the Iran nuclear deal, a State Department spokesperson said today.

World powers and Iran resumed talks on Thursday on reviving the nuclear pact. A European source said they were working from texts discussed five months ago, while Iranian officials said they were sticking to a tough stance from last week.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday that Tehran was serious in its nuclear talks with world powers in Vienna, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The indirect US-Iranian talks, in which diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China shuttle between them because Tehran refuses direct contact with Washington, aim to get both sides to resume full compliance with the accord.

“Secretary Blinken had a productive meeting with his E3 counterparts from Germany, France and the UK in Liverpool yesterday. They discussed the JCPOA talks and our way forward,” the State Department spokesperson said, referring to the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The meeting took place in the northern English city of Liverpool on the eve of a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting which is expected to result in a joint call for Iran to moderate its nuclear programme and grasp the opportunity of talks in Vienna.

Under the original nuclear deal, abandoned in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump, Iran limited its nuclear programme in return for relief from US, European Union and UN sanctions.

The West fears the programme would be used to develop weapons, something Tehran denies. — Reuters

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