On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Tehran will “definitely” continue indirect negotiations with the US to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“We will definitely continue the negotiations,” Khatibzadeh said, according to Iran’s IRNA. He said Iran plans to resume the talks “soon” but did not specify a date. The talks have been on hold since June 20th.
On Saturday, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said JCPOA talks are on the agenda of the new government in Tehran but also did not specify when they might resume. Raisi said he wants the negotiations to continue without “pressure” from the West. The US has recently imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, and France and Germany are demanding that Tehran return to the negotiating table.
On top of sanctions and demands, the US has also been coordinating closely with Israel on Iran policy. The Israelis are constantly threatening to attack Iran, and Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said he will continue covert attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran accused President Biden of illegally threatening Iran during his recent meeting with Bennett. Biden said if diplomacy with Tehran failed, he was ready to “turn to other options,” which Iran took as a reference to military options.
While the West blames Iran for the long delay in JCPOA negotiations, it was the Biden administration’s refusal to lift all Trump administration sanctions that forced Iran to negotiate in the first place. The talks started in April and dragged on as the two sides negotiated limited sanctions relief, a major concession for the Iranians. Raisi is viewed as a hardliner, but he still favors a JCPOA revival if the US is willing to return to its commitments.