VIENNA: Talks to salvage the tattered 2015 nuclear deal with Iraninfo-icon have paused while diplomats return to capitals for political consultations, European officials said Friday.

"January has been the most intensive period of these talks to date," British, German and French negotiators said in a joint statement. "Everyone knows we are reaching the final stage, which requires political decisions."

Russiainfo-icon's representative at the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, said the meeting was expected to resume next week.

The United Statesinfo-icon pulled out of the Vienna accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trumpinfo-icon and reimpose heavy sanctions on Iran. Tehraninfo-icon has responded by increasing the purity and amounts of uranium it enriches and stockpiles, in breach of the accord.

USinfo-icon President Joe Biden has signaled that he wants to rejoin the deal, which is still supported by Russia, the three European powers and Chinainfo-icon.