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Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

  • Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri made the announcement after meeting with EU political director Enrique Mora, who is coordinating the Vienna talks with Iran.
  • Bagheri, an ultra-hardliner, is expected to lead Iran's negotiating team.

Meanwhile, President Biden will meet the leaders of the "E3" (France, Germany and the U.K.) on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome this weekend to discuss next steps on Iran.

  • The Biden administration and its European allies agree that Iran has been dragging its feet on returning to the nuclear talks, but they haven't reached any agreement on how to press Iran to negotiate.
  • U.S. Iran envoy Rob Malley met last week in Paris with senior diplomats from the E3 to discuss possible next steps.

What they're saying: National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday that Biden would coordinate closely with his European counterparts in order to have a united front.

“We will be sending clear messages to the Iranians that this window is not unlimited, that we need to see a return to diplomacy and that we retain all other options to be able to deal with this program as necessary."
— Jake Sullivan

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - World

U.S. fears Iran won’t scale back to 2015 nuclear deal

Officials gather in Vienna on Sept. 29 for the first day of renewed nuclear talks with Iran. Photo: EU Vienna Delegation/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. officials have extremely low expectations as world powers resume negotiations with Iran to curb its nuclear program, believing the Iranians aren't yet ready to negotiate seriously, Axios is told.

Driving the news: Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community have assessed the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, thinks of his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, as a weak accommodationist who negotiated a bad deal with the U.S. and other world powers in 2015.

Nov 30, 2021 - World

Weapons-grade enrichment would "imperil" nuclear talks, diplomats warn Iran

The talks resume in Vienna. Photo: EU Vienna delegation handout via Getty

Senior diplomats from France, Germany and the U.K. briefed reporters Tuesday on the sidelines of the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, saying that if Iran starts enriching uranium to 90% purity, the level needed to produce nuclear weapons, it would "seriously imperil" the negotiations.

Why it matters: Israel has shared intelligence with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich weapons-grade uranium, as Axios first reported on Monday.

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

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