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US "prepared to meet directly" with Iran - State Dept.

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (KUNA) -- The US is "prepared to meet directly" with Iranian officials, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday, as it "would enable more efficient communication." "We are prepared to meet directly," Price told reporters. "We have consistently held the position that it would be much more productive to engage with Iran directly on both JCPOA negotiations and on other issues." He added "meeting directly would enable more efficient communication, which is urgently needed to swiftly reach an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA." He reiterated "given the pace of Iran's nuclear advancements, time is running very short until the nonproliferation benefits that the JCPOA conveyed as initially, drafted in 2015 and implemented in 2016 are outweighed by the nuclear advancements that Iran has made." "So we are seeking to conduct this diplomacy urgently and we've been consistently very clear that being able to engage directly would serve those purposes," he remarked.
He stressed "the Iranians have insisted on the indirect format in Vienna. We have long noted the fact that indirect talks, especially on an issue of this complexity and of this importance, is a hindrance. So our position has been clear." This comes as Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said during a press conference in Tehran "if we reach a stage in the negotiation process where the need for a good deal with a high guarantee is to have a dialogue with the Americans at some level, we will not ignore it," according to media outlets. (end) si.mt