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US Accuses Iran of 'Deception' in Vienna Talks

US Accuses Iran of 'Deception' in Vienna Talks

Sunday, 5 December, 2021 - 09:15
Iran's chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, leaving the JCPOA meeting in Vienna last Monday (EPA)

Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in particularly "provocative ways," claiming it needs time to get ready to resume the talks on a joint return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced a senior US State Department official.

The official gave a briefing on the seventh round of the JCPOA talks. He explained that the Iranian government said that it needed time to get ready, and "what we've seen over the last week or so is what getting ready meant for them. [..] I think our partners and others – Russia, China, others – have seen – have witnessed what Iran meant by getting ready."

He indicated that their latest provocation as reported by the "IAEA only on Wednesday, i.e., while we were still in the middle of talks, was to prepare for the doubling of their production capacity of 20 percent enriched uranium at Fordow."

The official explained that getting ready meant "to continue to stonewall the IAEA despite efforts – again, by all of the P5+1 – constructive efforts to find a way forward between Director General Grossi and Iran."

He indicated that the Russians, the Chinese, and the GCC countries support engaging economically and diplomatically with Iran.

"Iran has to show seriousness at the table and be prepared to come back in short order in compliance with the deal, as the US has said that it is prepared to do and as President Biden has said he is prepared to do and to stay in compliance with the deal as long as Iran is,” he said.

Asked about Russia and China's concerns about Iran's continued lack of compliance, the official indicated that they would share Washington's view entirely, but "I think they do think they do share a sense of disappointment, to put it diplomatically, at what the last several months – what Iran has chosen to do with the last several months of preparation."

He did not clarify whether the United States would withdraw from the negotiations if Iran were not serious about them.

"I would say that the time that we have for – the time that the JCPOA has for remaining a viable deal is inversely proportional to the speed with which Iran advances its nuclear program. If they choose to accelerate their nuclear program, as they seem to have done of late, then there'd be less time left for the JCPOA to be resurrected."

The official asserted that accelerating the technological clock of the nuclear program carries "very troubling implications for whether the JCPOA can be revived."

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