US official reports frustrations to Iran, worries about Tehran’s ‘plan B’
A senior US official expressed growing impatience over Iran’s lack of movement towards talks on reviving a moribund nuclear deal with world powers and raised fears of a “plan B” that keeps Tehran on hold. dangerous atomic route.
But the anonymous official also said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had not set any date when US patience could run out in the negotiations, which include EU officials and others. signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Negotiations in Vienna since the inauguration of US President Joe Biden in January pledging to revive the JCPOA have apparently stalled, in part due to an Iranian election that installed outright president Ebrahim Raisi.
“For now, there is no indication that Iran is ready to resume talks,” the official said on condition of anonymity, noting that Tehran had not yet appointed a new negotiator for the meetings.
The source added that the United States “is not setting strict deadlines.”
Biden told the United Nations General Assembly this week: “We are ready to return to full compliance if Iran does the same.”
“The ‘Plan B’ that concerns us is the one that Iran plans to continue with its nuclear program,” the unnamed US official said.
The United States and other Western governments and intelligence agencies have accused Tehran of trying to build a nuclear bomb-making capability, a charge Iranian officials have consistently rejected.
The 2015 JCPOA eased friction between Tehran and Washington, but Iran has faltered and regional tensions have soared since Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal three years ago and reimposed sanctions crippling.