UPDATED 9:12 AM PT – Tuesday, October 26, 2021
The State Department has been growing concerned that Iran is ghosting them over the resurrection of the failed 2015 Obama-era nuclear deal.
Speaking with foreign reporters on Monday, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley stressed bilateral talks have reached a critical phase, but Iranian officials haven’t reached out in several months. Malley admitted Iran’s excuses for not sitting down at the negotiation table are “wearing thin” and suggested the window of opportunity is coming to a close.
The Biden administration coordinated six meetings with Iran in Vienna, Austria this year in order to hash out compliance and implementation measure. However, Iran took a hardline stance demanding Joe Biden lift sanctions imposed on the Middle Eastern country during the Trump administration.
Additionally, the rouge state has claimed to be delaying talks due to a transition period for the newly elected Iranian president. State Department Press Secretary Ned Price asserted this would only prolong the debate over denuclearization.
“Look, if Iran’s goal, as they say, is a return to the JCPOA, they need to engage and they need to engage in the Vienna format,” said Price. “No other participant can provide answers on the questions Iran reportedly wants to raise, such as guarantees and sanctions and issues pertaining to the lifting of sanctions. Those are issues that need to be worked out in Vienna with the United States.”
Analysts have called attention to Iran’s recent meetings with the EU over the same issues. Some believe engaging with the EU is an attempt to further stall denuclearization efforts and undermine America’s ability to compel Iran.
Price said the EU was influential in bringing the six partner states together to sign the controversial Joint Comprehension Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal. Although, he claimed these meetings don’t really matter and urged Iran to sit down with American diplomats.
Tune in for a briefing with Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. https://t.co/antFIadm7q
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 26, 2021