Biden administration still seeks to return to original Iran nuclear deal compliance while preparing for no-deal world

The official’s dismal assessment after the latest round of talks in Vienna raised strong concerns among US and European officials that the new Iranian negotiating team had not come to the table with “serious” proposals. ” to return to compliance with the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive. Plan of Action (JCPOA) – an agreement that Tehran has increasingly moved away from complying with.

“It’s not our preference,” the official told reporters briefly by phone, alluding to a lack of compliance. “Every day that goes by is a day where we come to the conclusion that they are not thinking of going back to JCPOA any time soon.”

“What they’re thinking about is that you can call their own ‘Plan B’, which is to use negotiations as a cover, as a front, to continue building their nuclear program to do what they do. leverage for a better deal for them,” they said.

ONE seventh round of negotiations in the Austrian capital to save the nuclear deal – which the US abandoned under President Donald Trump – ended on Friday. The US and Iran did not negotiate directly at these talks.

The senior State Department official said Iranian negotiators had arrived in Vienna “with proposals to go back … whatever compromise Iran has come up with in six rounds of negotiations, pocketing all the agreements. compromises that other countries and the US in particular have made, and then demanded more.”

The senior State Department official said the concerns of the US and its European allies were shared by Russia and China, adding that they would not speak for those two countries, but “I think the public equal to say they are also quite surprised to the extent that Iran has given up its own compromises and then doubled down on the demands it has made to us and to others.”

“I’m not saying they will share our views entirely, but I think they do share a sense of disappointment, diplomatically speaking, at what Iran has chosen to do over the past few months,” they said.

US and European allies look pessimistic as Iran nuclear talks break down in Vienna

The official declined to give specifics on what Tehran had demanded in the latest round of talks but pointed out that sanctions relief “goes well beyond” the scope of the nuclear deal.

The official said Saturday that they do not know when the next round of talks will begin. A Russian official involved in the talks said they would convene again next week.

“The date of those talks, the date of resumption, is not much more important than whether Iran comes back with a serious attitude prepared to negotiate seriously,” the senior State Department official said. or not”.

The official repeatedly declined to say when the United States would leave the talks, nor would they go into detail about other options the United States was considering if the nuclear deal was no longer in effect.

They told reporters that at this point, despite Iran’s technological advances “which carry very worrying implications as to whether the JCPOA can be revived,” the United States still believes the deal can be salvaged.

The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) reported on Wednesday that Iran has begun production of uranium enriched to 20% using advanced centrifuges at its Fordow facility, and it has denied dropped a call to allow the IAEA access to its Karaj nuclear site.

“I think at a minimum, they believe they can accumulate more highly enriched uranium and use more advanced centrifuges as leverage for a deal they think they have.” can extract more from us and put less on their side,” said senior State Department official. “I think it’s a negotiating tactic that will backfire.”

The official added that it would have no “divine motives” as to whether Iran was seeking to become a threshold state, meaning a country capable of producing nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly said that it does not seek to build nuclear weapons.


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