On Monday, the State Department said it’s still “too soon” to tell if Iran is taking a “constructive” approach to the ongoing negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“It’s just too soon to tell whether Iran has returned to a more constructive approach at this moment,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters.
Since the nuclear deal talks resumed in Vienna at the end of November, the US has been accusing Iran of not taking the process seriously. But amid negotiations, the Biden administration has ramped up sanctions and is hinting at taking military action against Iran if the talks fail. Iran has said the renewed US pressure is a sign that the US is the party not taking diplomacy seriously.
Despite the US’s negative comments, Iran’s top negotiator in Vienna said Sunday that progress is still being made. “The two parties are at the point of agreeing on the matters which should be on the agenda,” Ali Bagheri Kani told Iran’s IRNA news agency. “It’s a positive and important evolution since, at the start, they weren’t even in agreement on the issues to negotiate.”
The US wants Iran to accept a draft agreement that was reached in negotiations with the previous Iranian government during earlier talks that concluded in June. But Iran has submitted two new draft proposals, and despite US claims otherwise, Bagheri Kani has signaled flexibility in negotiating the deals he has put forward.