The State Department is preparing several contingencies in case the US fails to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program, US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said in an interview with Politico, published on Thursday.
As Politico writes, Malley said that his team is “preparing some backup options” in case the United States and Iran are unable to agree on the terms of the restoration of the JCPOA in the coming months.
One of them is that Washington and Tehran will agree to a completely different deal with parameters different from the current agreement. The second option is a set of punitive responses in coordination with European allies. At the same time, the special envoy did not tell Politico what these measures could be.
According to the diplomat, the return of the US to the JCPOA is “just one big question mark,” because Washington “cannot fully control this process” due to the lack of interaction on the part of Tehran.
Malley declined to indicate the percentage likelihood that the United States will return to its obligations under the JCPOA. “I wouldn’t be of much help to you if I mentioned the interest,” he insisted.
“If Iran achieves success in its nuclear program and continues to take provocative steps in the nuclear sphere, not to mention their regional provocations, then this pulls [progress on the negotiations] in the other direction [from reaching an agreement],” the special envoy said.
According to him, Washington sees that the issue of returning the US to fulfill its obligations under the JCPOA has not yet been resolved. At the same time, as he stressed, it is necessary to be prepared for the fact that “Iran’s intentions are not to return” to this deal.