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US, Iran ‘not near’ conclusion of talks over nuclear deal: Official

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Washington and Tehran are “not near” the conclusion of talks over a new nuclear deal and the outcome is still uncertain, a senior State Department official said Wednesday.

After the second round of indirect talks between the US and Iran, the official said talks in Vienna had seen some progress, “but we’re not in a situation that is radically different from where we were at the conclusion of round one.”

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What has been achieved is a greater clarification of what the US and Iran need to do to come back into full compliance with the JCPOA, an acronym for the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015.

“There’s still disagreements, in some cases pretty important ones, on our respective views about what is meant by a return to full compliance,” the State Department official told reporters during a phone briefing.

Nevertheless, the official said “full compliance for compliance” was being discussed. Iran previously suggested a step-by-step approach, but the official said, “that’s no longer on the agenda.”

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