Iran’s Hopes of Returning to the Nuclear Deal Dim

Attempts to get Tehran back to the terms of the Iran nuclear deal are in danger of failing, forcing America and its allies to consider non-diplomatic options to counter the threat, top US officials say.

For months, the US, along with other major powers, has been trying to salvage the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) through a series of indirect talks in Vienna. But the talks have stalled, top officials in Washington are now warning time is fleeting.

“With the passing of the day and Iran’s refusal to engage in good faith, the road has become blocked,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday at a press meeting with his Israeli and United Arab Emirates counterparts in Washington.

“We continue to believe diplomacy is the most effective way to do that, but it takes two parties to engage in diplomacy, and we haven’t seen Iran’s willingness to do so,” he said. “We are ready to turn to other options if Iran does not change course.”

Washington’s special envoy for Iran gave the same assessment during virtual talks on Wednesday (13/10) morning.

“We are realistic. We know there is a high possibility that Iran will choose a different path,” Robert Malley said when asked about Tehran’s hopes of returning to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

“We have to prepare for a world … where Iran has no constraints on its nuclear program, and we have to consider options for dealing with it,” Malley said. [my/jm]

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