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New round of Iran nuclear negotiations begins in Vienna

International talks about the future of Iran's nuclear programmes are set to continue on Monday, after participants took a break over the Christmas period.

International talks about the future of Iran’s nuclear programmes are set to continue on Monday, after participants took a break over the Christmas period.

Negotiators are trying to find a way to get Iran and the United States back to a 2015 deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – under which the US and five other countries agreed to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran halting its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Diplomats from Germany, France, the UK, Russia and China are now set to continue mediating between the US and Iran in Vienna.

However, Western diplomats say the talks only have a few weeks to yield a breakthrough before Iran’s advancements in nuclear know-how make the deal irrelevant. Washington is considering further sanctions if the Vienna negotiations are unsuccessful.

The previous round ended in mid-December without substantial progress, and unresolved issues include the order and verification of mutual steps following any agreement.

The US pulled out of the nuclear pact in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump and re-imposed sanctions. Iran responded by breaking various nuclear agreements designed to prevent the development of nuclear weapons.

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