If the brand new spherical of nuclear talks starting Thursday in Vienna fails to yield progress, the U.S. and its European allies are more likely to take steps to extend the stress on Iran.
State of play: The U.S. and the E3 — France, Germany and the U.Ok. — accused Iran of taking maximalist positions and failing to barter critically within the final spherical, which ended on Friday.
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U.S. and European diplomats say Iran has backtracked on sure commitments to roll again its nuclear program made by the earlier Iranian authorities, whereas growing its calls for on sanctions reduction.
U.S. officers have warned that if Iran continues down this path, a return to the 2015 nuclear deal may not be viable within the close to future.
The opposite aspect: The Iranians have rejected Western criticism and claimed they’re exhibiting pragmatism.
Iranian Overseas Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian mentioned Monday that every one of Iran’s proposals fell throughout the framework of the 2015 deal and had been based mostly on the draft settlement reached in June with the earlier Iranian authorities.
He burdened that Iran had anticipated the E3 to current initiatives for lifting sanctions final week, which didn’t occur.
Driving the information: That is the eighth spherical of talks this yr, and the second since President Ebrahim Raisi’s hardline administration took workplace in Tehran.
U.S. Iran envoy Rob Malley and his staff are anticipated to reach in Vienna on Thursday and proceed to barter not directly by means of European mediators.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury introduced new sanctions in opposition to a number of Iranian officers for his or her roles in cracking down on protestors.
Iran’s Overseas Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted in response: “Doubling down on sanctions will not create leverage — and is something however seriousness and goodwill.”
Behind the scenes: European diplomats say an Axios report that Israeli intelligence suggests Iran could also be making ready to complement weapons-grade uranium was mentioned in Vienna. EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell additionally raised the report in a name with Amir-Abdollahian, who denied it.
“I frankly informed him that that is simply an try to create media buzz,” Amir-Abdollahian mentioned on Monday. “The Islamic Republic continues its enrichment on the degree of 20%, and we don’t affirm the studies about 90% enrichment. They’re whole lies.”
What’s subsequent: If the brand new spherical of talks fails, the U.S. and E3 are more likely to convene an emergency session of the Worldwide Atomic Power Company board by the tip of December to go a censure decision in opposition to Iran, U.S. officers say.
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