Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that were held in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, have been stalled since June 20th. On Thursday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the talks will resume soon but gave no specific date.
In comments at a news conference in Qatar, Borell said the talks will resume “within an acceptable period of time.” The EU is brokering the negotiations between the US and Iran under a mechanism of the JCPOA.
Also on Thursday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Tehran was evaluating the last round of JCPOA talks and would be ready to resume them when that is done. Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran would not “waste an hour before returning to Vienna talks” once the evaluation is complete.
The government of Iran’s new President Ebrahim has been clear that it plans to return to the negotiations, something Khatibzadeh repeated. “Iran has reached conclusion that we certainly will return to the nuclear talks,” he said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Iran on Thursday that time is running out to resume talks. “The ball remains in their court, but not for long,” he said. “There is a limited runway on that, and the runway is getting shorter.”
While Western powers are blaming Iran for the delay in negotiations, it was the Biden administration’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions that dragged them out in the first place. The talks started in April and dragged on through June as the two sides were negotiating limited sanctions relief, a major concession for the Iranians.
Last week, Iran’s new foreign minister said the US was sending the wrong signal to Tehran by maintaining all Trump-era sanctions and also adding new ones. The Biden administration has imposed several rounds of Iran-related sanctions that target people and companies the US accuses of trading with Iran, ramping up the previous administration’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.