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US, Russia envoys discuss Iran nuclear deal ahead of summit

By Outlook

Delegations from Russia and the United States involved in nuclear negotiations with Iran held talks in Vienna on Monday, two days ahead of a summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The United States is not directly involved in the Vienna negotiations but has regular contacts with participating diplomats. Efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear containment deal for Iran are a rare topic of collaboration between the two global adversaries.

Mikhail Ulyanov, a senior diplomat who headed the Russian delegation at the meeting in Vienna, called the talks with U.S. counterparts “fruitful.”

“Our dialogue in Vienna seems to be proof that the two countries can maintain businesslike cooperation on issues of common interest, non-proliferation in this particular case,” Ulyanov wrote in a tweet.

The nuclear agreement was scuppered in 2018 when the Trump administration pulled the United States out of the accord, arguing that it handed Iran too many concessions. Diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia, and Britain held joint talks with Iran Saturday and multiple bilateral meetings afterward at a hotel in the center of the Austrian capital.

Matthew Rojansky, director of the Wilson Center”s Kennan Institute in Washington, said Russia was keen to curb some of Iran”s ambitions.

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