İrem UZUN -TDO- The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, seeking to revive a deal that Washington itself abandoned nearly three years ago.   

"The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran's nuclear program," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement Thursday. The P5+1 refers to the permanent members of the UN Security Council— China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and Germany.  "Until we sit down and talk, nothing's going to happen. It doesn't mean that when we sit down and talk we're going to succeed, but we do know that if we don't take that step, the situation is just going to go from bad to worse," the first senior State Department official said. "It's a meaningful step, but we recognize it's just one of many that will have to be taken from all sides."

It is a move to the lay the groundwork for diplomacy that could eventually break the ongoing impasse between Washington and Tehran, both of whom have insisted the other must act first. Iran has not formally responded to the proposal. But in a tweet, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested the country would only comply with the deal fully once U.S. sanctions had been lifted.

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