On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran’s approach to the nuclear deal talks that resumed in Vienna this week has given the US little reason to be optimistic.
“I think in the very near future, the next day or so, we’ll be in a position to judge whether Iran actually intends now to engage in good faith,” Blinken said when asked about the talks.
“I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don’t give us a lot of cause for optimism,” Blinken said, adding that it’s “not too late for Iran to reverse course.”
Iran’s new government has entered the JCPOA negotiations calling for a complete lifting of sanctions that the US imposed since the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018, which the US claims is a hardline stance.
Iran’s top diplomat took a more positive tone on Thursday, saying a deal is “within reach” if Western powers show goodwill. “Good deal within reach if the West shows goodwill. We seek rational, sober, and result-oriented dialogue,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian wrote on Twitter.
Al Jazeera reported that Iran presented European powers with two draft deals on Thursday that cover the lifting of sanctions and Iran’s nuclear commitments. “We have delivered two proposed drafts to them … Of course they need to check the texts that we have provided to them. If they are ready to continue the talks, we are in Vienna to continue the talks,” Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s top negotiator in Vienna, told reporters.
A diplomatic source told Al Jazeera reporter Ali Hashem that the proposals were built on the progress made during negotiations between the US and Iran that were held from April to June. “The elements of these proposals are going to be built upon what was agreed on in the past six rounds of talks between Iran and the world powers,” Hashem said.
“However, new points were added, ones that were disregarded in the past talks and Iran believes they are crucial in order to reach an agreement,” He added.