April 7 (Reuters) – Diplomats from major powers and the European Union met separately on Wednesday with Iran and the United States to discuss what sanctions Washington might remove and what nuclear curbs Tehran might observe in an effort to bring both back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, a U.S. official said.

Longtime foes the United States and Iran have said they do not expect quick breakthroughs in the talks that began in Vienna on Tuesday, with European and other diplomats as intermediaries because Tehran rejects face-to-face talks for now.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program, and he reimposed U.S. sanctions, prompting Iran to violate the accord’s atomic limitations.

The deal’s remaining parties – Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – agreed on Tuesday to form two expert-level groups whose job is to marry lists of sanctions that the United States could lift with nuclear obligations Iran should meet.

Diplomats said the working groups, which are chaired by the European Union and exclude the United States, met on Wednesday. A U.S. official said on condition of anonymity that the U.S. delegation in Vienna had been briefed on the discussions.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy in Vienna, John Irish in Paris and Arshad Mohammed in St. Paul, Minn.; editing by Grant McCool)

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