In Russia on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters that he expects indirect negotiations with the US to revive the nuclear deal should resume soon.
“We are now finalizing consultations on this matter and will soon restore our negotiations in Vienna,” Amir-Abdollahian said. For weeks now, Iran’s new government under President Ebrahim Raisi has signaled it’s ready to enter negotiations, but no specific date has been decided.
In the meantime, the US has been coordinating very closely with Israel on Iran and has warned Tehran that time is running out to resume the JCPOA talks. Next week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is hosting Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Washington, and the two diplomats are expected to discuss the potential resumption of negotiations with Iran.
The Israelis are constantly threatening military action against Iran and are pushing the US to pursue other options with Tehran that involve more economic sanctions. On Tuesday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed to his Israeli counterpart that if “diplomacy fails” with Iran, the US would “turn to other options.”
Such close coordination with Israel and continued enforcement of all Trump-era sanctions on Iran do not send a good signal to Iran. Raisi’s government has suggested that the US could send a sign of good faith by unfreezing billions in Iranian assets to jumpstart negotiations, but the chances of the Biden administration doing so are slim.