Israel sends officials to Vienna during nuclear talks: report

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Photo taken on Dec. 17, 2021 shows a meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria. [Photo/EU Delegation in Vienna handout via Xinhua]

Israel has sent envoys to Vienna during the nuclear talks to meet with official negotiators of several world powers, Israel's state-owned Kan news TV reported on Tuesday.

Head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's strategic department Joshua Zarka talked with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi on Monday, according to the report.

Mikhail Ulyanov, head of Russia's delegation to the nuclear negotiations, wrote on Twitter that he met with "Israeli colleagues" in Vienna on Tuesday, and "discussed IAEA-related issues."

The Israeli officials also met with U.S. negotiator Rob Malley and negotiators of remaining parties to the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to reports in Israeli media.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has not immediately commented on the meetings.

The nuclear talks in Vienna, which started last April to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, don't include Israeli representatives.

It was the first time Israel has sent diplomats to Vienna since the talks began.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who is on a visit to Bahrain, said on Tuesday that a return to the 2015 deal would be "a strategic mistake."

Iran stresses that its nuclear program is peaceful.

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