Iran said Wednesday that it’s still open to talks to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, but such negotiations are unlikely as the US says it is preparing more sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that the window for reviving the JCPOA is still open but warned it wouldn’t be open forever.
“If the opposite parties do not stop hypocrisy, especially the Americans, and the Westerners do not act realistically, it is not certain that the window that is open today will remain open tomorrow,” Amir-Abdollahian said while in Oman.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the US was looking to curtail the production of Iranian drones over Tehran’s support for Russia. Moscow is said to be using Iranian kamikaze drones to bomb Ukrainian infrastructure, although Tehran insists it hasn’t provided Russia with drones since the invasion of Ukraine. But there’s no doubt Russia and Iran are increasing cooperation as they face similar pressure from the West.
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson acknowledged in comments to the Times that the US was looking to use sanctions against Iran’s drone program. “We are looking at ways to target Iranian UAV production through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production,” she said.
The US has also discussed the issue with Israel, signaling the Biden administration may be considering covert action against Iran’s drone production as Israel has a history of sabotage operations inside the Islamic Republic.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan last week held a video meeting with high-level Israeli officials. According to the White House, they discussed “Iran’s growing military relationship with Russia, including the transfer of weapons the Kremlin is deploying against Ukraine.”
Another sign that negotiations between the US and Iran won’t happen anytime soon is the fact that President Biden said the JCPOA is “dead” in a video that surfaced last week. Since JCPOA talks fell apart in September, the US has escalated sanctions against Iran and expressed support for protesters inside the country.