White House says it's 'clear-eyed' on Iran engagement

Tehran has ruled out face-to-face bilateral discussions, but the presence of both Iran and the United States in the Austrian capital - welcomed by Washington as a "healthy step forward" - will help to focus efforts to bring all sides back into compliance with the accord.The aim is to reach an agreement within two months, said a senior official with the European Union, the coordinator of the deal. Iran holds elections in June.Former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting it to violate some of the pact's nuclear restrictions. His successor Joe Biden wants to revive the accord, but Washington and Tehran have been at odds over who should take the first step.Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain - all parties to the 2015 deal - held virtual talks on Friday to see how to progress.

Video Transcript

JEN PSAKI: We are very clear eyed about the hurdles that remain. These talks will be structured around working groups that the EU is going to form with the remaining partners in the JCPOA including Iran. And the primary issues that will be discussed are the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the JCPOA and the sanctions relief steps the United States would need to take in order to return to compliance as well. We don't anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through the process. Though, we certainly remain open to them.