U.S. repeats it will not offer Iran unilateral incentives for talks

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U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price holds news briefing at State Department in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States repeated on Thursday it will not offer Iran unilateral incentives to attend talks about both sides resuming compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"We will not offer any unilateral gestures or incentives to induce the Iranians to come to the table. If the Iranians are under the impression that, absent any movement on their part to resume full compliance with the (nuclear deal), that we will offer favors or unilateral gestures, well that's a misimpression," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

Price suggested Washington would consider each side taking steps to resume compliance with the agreement once they are at the negotiating table.

"If and only if Tehran comes to the negotiating table would we be in a position, would we be prepared, to discuss proposals that would help push both sides back on that path of mutual compliance to the deal," he said. "Ultimately, that is where we seek to go: compliance for compliance."

Price was referring to the deal between Iran and six major powers under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for the easing of U.S. and other economic sanctions.

The deal made it harder for Iran's atomic program to be used to produce nuclear weapons, an ambition Tehran denies. Former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and restored U.S. sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to begin violating the deal's nuclear restrictions about a year later.

(Reporting By Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall)