Blinken Says US Working With Allies on ‘Alternatives’ If Iran Deal Talks Fail

Iran criticized the West for what it called a 'blame game'

The US is working with allies on “alternatives” if the indirect negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal fail in Vienna, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Tuesday.

“We continue in this hour, on this day, to pursue diplomacy because it remains at this moment the best option, but we are actively engaging with allies and partners on alternatives,” Blinken said in Indonesia.

Since the talks restarted at the end of November, the US has been accusing Iran of not taking the process seriously because they are not accepting a draft agreement reached in earlier negotiations with the previous Iranian government. Blinken said Iran was wasting time by “advancing totally new positions that are inconsistent with a return to the JCPOA.”

The European signatories to the JCPOA — France, Germany, and Britain — are joining the US in condemning Iran’s position. The three countries released a joint statement that said Iran’s actions mean that the world powers are “rapidly reaching the end of the road” to save the nuclear deal.

Iran has said it wants the US to lift all sanctions that have been imposed since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. Despite the accusations from the US, Iran has signaled flexibility and openness to negotiate new draft proposals it has put forward on sanctions relief.

Iran’s top negotiator on Tuesday expressed frustration with the accusations being made by the Western powers. “Some actors persist in their blame game habit, instead of real diplomacy. We proposed our ideas early, and worked constructively and flexibly to narrow gaps,” Iran’s top negotiator in Vienna, Ali Bagheri Kani, wrote on Twitter.

In a sign that the US is not serious about returning to the JCPOA, the Biden administration has imposed new sanctions on Iran amid negotiations and is working on tightening existing ones. The US is also closely coordinating with Israel and hinting at potential military action.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.