The US is calling on Iran to restart indirect negotiations to revive the nuclear deal that have been on hold since June 20th, warning that the window for the talks “won’t be open forever.”
“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a State Department officials told reporters Thursday. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course.”
On Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the talks would resume in the next “few weeks.” At the UN this week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi denounced US sanctions as weapons of war, but also signaled that he’s willing to come to the table if the negotiations result in sanctions relief.
The negotiations between the US and Iran started in April and were dragged out due to the US’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions. The West blames Iran for the current delay in talks, but when they resume, it is ultimately up to the US to revive the JCPOA. President Biden needs to be willing to give Iran adequate sanctions relief, or the negotiations will not get very far.
Meanwhile, the US is coordinating with Israel on Iran. Last week, the US and Israel reportedly held secret talks on Iran. Israeli officials want the Biden administration to go ahead with a “plan B” if the JCPOA talks don’t resume soon that involves more sanctions on Iran.
Coordinating so closely with Israel does not send the best message to Iran. The Israelis frequently carry out covert attacks on Iran’s nuclear program, which the US tacitly endorses by never condemning them.