US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley will travel to the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Nov. 11-20 to coordinate efforts ahead of fresh talks about reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Malley will lead a joint team among a number of US federal agencies, 9 days before the “5 + 1 group" of the permanent members of the Security Council meet in Vienna to get Washington and Tehran to resume compliance with the nuclear deal, under which Iran restrained its nuclear program in return for relief from US, EU and UN sanctions.
A statement released by the US State Department on Thursday, said Malley “will coordinate our approaches on a broad range of concerns with Iran, including its destabilizing activities in the region and the upcoming seventh round of talks on a mutual return to full compliance with the (deal)," referring to the Nov. 29 resumption of indirect US-Iran talks.
Malley’s trip will be his first to Israel as a member of the Biden administration. He has met several times with Israeli officials in Washington. He is one of the original architects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but has rarely appeared face-to-face with Israeli officials on this issue, given Israel's strong opposition to the deal.
Malley last spoke publicly on efforts to revive the JCPOA last month when he told reporters that Iran’s explanations for staying away from nuclear talks in Vienna are “running out.”
Days after, Iran announced readiness to resume negotiations on Nov. 29, after a five-months hiatus due to the elections that brought hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to power.
US President Joe Biden said he was ready to resume the nuclear agreement talks, under which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for comprehensive sanctions relief.
Iran wants a lifting of the US sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump after withdrawing from the deal in 2018.
The Biden administration says it will only negotiate actions taken by Trump on the nuclear program, not the steps imposed on other concerns such as human rights.