US is Step Away from Giving Up on Iran Nuclear Deal, State Secretary Blinken Warns

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Citing the lack of time to rearrange the nuclear agreement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Iran on Wednesday that it’s running out of time to return to strict compliance with the JCPOA, noting that delay in talks would fail to reproduce benefits of it in light of the scathing report by the UN atomic watchdog, Times of Israel reports.

The United States and Iran have held six rounds of indirect negotiations since April in an attempt to re-establish the JCPOA but it failed to achieve the desired result.

Though the process wad further stalled after the new ultraconservative Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was appointed, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord with US President Joe Biden showing interest in rejoining the pact.

The EU is currently mediating ongoing efforts between Iran and world powers to revive the JCPOA that has been deteriorating since former US President Trump withdrew US from it three years ago.

Blinken conveyed his warnings at a press conference after negotiations with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, who also stressed that Tehran’s suggestion for the reviving talks of the stalled deal to resume in two to three months was far too long.

Newly appointed Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has recently said that other parties in the deal should understand that the new administration would need at least two to three months to settle down before taking any decision.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) accused Iran in a strongly-worded report Tuesday of seriously undermining monitoring tasks by blocking access to some of its nuclear sites for UN agency’s inspectors.

IAEA also blamed Tehran for continuing boost of its stocks of uranium enriched above the percentage allowed in the 2015 accord.

Raisi, who took over the power from moderate Hassan Rouhani, the principal architect on the Iranian side of the 2015 agreement, pushed back on September 8 against the IAEA confidential report, telling European Council President Charles Michel in a phone conversation that Iran’s serious cooperation with the IAEA is a clear example of its will to be transparent about its nuclear activities.

He warned that if the IAEA has a nonconstructive approach that, of course, upset the negotiation process, it’s unreasonable to expect a constructive response from Iran.

On top of Blinken’s talks with Maas, US envoy Robert Malley met on Wednesday in Moscow, which is also a signatory to the deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for two days of talks expected to focus on the Iran deal and the need to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with it.

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