The United States on Friday confirmed it would take part in a meeting in Vienna next week on the Iran nuclear deal and offered to sit down directly with Tehran.
"These remain early days, and we don't anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be difficult discussions ahead. But we believe this is a healthy step forward," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
"We do not anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through this process, though the United States remains open to them," he said.
The European Union announced Friday an in-person meeting in Vienna of all parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, from which former president Donald Trump withdrew.
The Europeans said it would have "separate" contacts in Vienna with the United States and Iran quickly rejected a direct meeting with its arch-enemy as it presses President Joe Biden first to lift sanctions.