On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the US against dragging out indirect talks that are ongoing in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“The talks shouldn’t become talks of attrition,” Khamenei said from Tehran, according to Iran’s Press TV. “They shouldn’t be in a way that parties drag on and prolong the talks. This is harmful to the country.”
While the US and Iran are engaged in negotiations, the Biden administration has the power to revive the deal at any time. Iranian officials, including Khamenei, have been clear that they would quickly return to the limits set by the JCPOA if the US lifts the sanctions that were imposed by the Trump administration.
Judging by Khamenei’s comments, the Americans have not given Iran a serious offer. “Most of the proposals by the Americans are arrogant and contemptuous. They are not worth looking at,” he said.
Since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA, the US has slapped an enormous number of sanctions on Iran. Some are related to the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear program, while others were imposed for claims of terrorism and alleged human rights abuses. The US has signaled that it is not willing to lift every sanction imposed by Trump.
Last week, a US official said, “If Iran sticks to the position that every sanction that has been imposed since 2017 has to be lifted or there will be no deal, then we are heading towards an impasse.”
Despite the US’s stubborn position, the Vienna talks will continue. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said indirect talks will reconvene on Thursday.
Over the weekend, Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit by an apparent Israeli attack. In response to the sabotage, Iran announced it will begin enriching some uranium at 60 percent, which could cause the US to act quicker to revive the JCPOA.