Friday, January 28, 2022

US official accuses Iran of withdrawing from nuclear deal

A senior US State Department official on Saturday accused Iran of backing out of a final round of talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and demand more in its most recent resolutions.

Speaking on the background, the official said, “We cannot accept a situation in which Iran accelerates its nuclear program and slows down its nuclear diplomacy.”

The official said the US remains committed to the talks in Vienna but that Iranian negotiators “have to change their stance.”

“They are not going to get a better JCPOA deal than these talks,” the official predicted, referring to the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

A day after a State Department official evaluated talks to revive the deal by diplomats, which put talks on curbing the Iranian nuclear program on hold until next week, officials in the United States and Europe made progress. Criticized Iran for the shortage.

FILE – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses a news conference in Stockholm on December 2, 2021.

US Secretary of State Antony said, “What we have seen over the past few days is that Iran is not yet serious about doing what is needed to return to compliance, which is why we have discussed this round of talks in Vienna.” terminated.” Blinken said on Friday while addressing a virtual conference of world leaders organized by Reuters news agency.

“If the road to a return to compliance with the agreement is closed, we will pursue other options,” he said.

past progress

A US State Department spokesman said in the background on Friday that earlier rounds of talks with Iran had made “progress, finding constructive compromise solutions to many difficult issues that were difficult for all sides.” But, he added, “unfortunately, Iran’s approach this week was not to try to resolve the remaining issues.”

European officials also expressed disappointment with Iran over the talks. A statement on Friday by senior officials from France, Britain and Germany – the three European powers acting as mediators in nuclear talks – said, “This week, [Iran] Has held back from diplomatic progress.”

The United States and Iran resumed indirect talks in Vienna on Monday, with mediators seeking to bring both sides back into compliance with the 2015 JCPOA agreement. US and Iranian negotiators previously held six inconclusive rounds of indirect talks in Vienna from April to June, when Iran suspended talks ahead of its presidential election that month.

Under the JCPOA, Iran promised it would curb nuclear activities that could be weaponized in exchange for relief from international sanctions. Tehran denies asking for nuclear weapons.

Former President Donald Trump’s US administration abandoned the JCPOA in 2018, saying it was not tough enough on Iran, and reimposed US sanctions. Iran retaliated a year later by publicly exceeding the JCPOA limits on its nuclear activities. Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has said he wants to honor the deal again if Iran does.

The International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday confirmed Iran’s latest violation of JCPOA limits, saying it has begun using advanced centrifuges at its underground nuclear facility in Fordo to enrich uranium to 20% purity. , which is a small step away from the level of weapons.

‘Nuclear blackmail’

Israel, a key US ally whose destruction Iran has vowed to pursue, reacted to that news with alarm. The Israeli government said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Blinken on the phone on Thursday and accused Tehran of using its Fordo advances as “nuclear blackmail” in the JCPOA talks. It said Bennett urged the United States and other world powers to respond by immediately halting talks.

Speaking to reporters in Stockholm on Thursday, Blinken said, “We will not accept Iran’s creation of the status quo. [nuclear] Programs on the one hand and talks on the other are dragging their feet. It’s not going to last.”

“We will know very quickly, I think in the next day or two whether Iran is serious or not,” he said.

It was the first time a Biden administration official had publicly offered such a specific and short time frame to assess Iran’s negotiating status after months of refusing to do so.

pair of iranian proposals

On Wednesday, Iran submitted two proposals to Western powers for US sanctions it wants to lift and is ready to resume in exchange for US sanctions relief for a nuclear limit.

“My understanding from the latest news reporting is that [Iran’s proposals] Maximalists are demands that are inappropriate for the United States,” Jason Brodsky, policy director for the US advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, said in a VOA interview.

Brodsky said Iran could accede to the IAEA’s demands to restore UN inspectors’ access to cameras at a centrifuge workshop in Karaj, after blocking such access for months.

“It would be a token concession to continue the process,” he said.

Some information in this report has been received from the agencies France-Press and Reuters.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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