by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Despite recent cautious optimism on the outcome of talks between world powers and Iran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Mexico City Monday it was “unlikely” that a new agreement with Tehran would be reached in the near future, the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reports.
Blinken gave his assessment on the same day that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Iran to accept the proposals put forward by Germany, France, and Britain for reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the 2015 treaty which collapsed when former president Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.
Blinken said Iran’s intransigence in the face of the proposals made by Britain and the EU “is a step backward, away from the likelihood of any kind of near-term agreement,” JNS reports. “You’ve heard the European Union, and in particular, you’ve heard the so-called E3—Germany, France and the UK—pronounce themselves on the latest developments,” Blinken said. “I can’t give you a timeline except to say, again, that Iran seems either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to reach an agreement and they continue to try to introduce extraneous issues to the negotiation that make an agreement less likely.”
JNS notes that Blinken’s assessment of the situation concurs with that given on September 5 by the E.U. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, who said the prospects of reviving the JCPOA are “in danger” as the US and Tehran continue to hold incompatible positions on the way forward. “The positions are not closer. If the process does not converge, then the whole process is in danger,” Borrell said.
Since the collapse of the JCPOA, Iran has progressed its nuclear program, enriching uranium to levels far beyond what is required for civilian purposes and close to levels required for producing an atomic bomb. Iran has said it will consider a new agreement if sanctions are lifted, while the US has said Iran must first cease enriching uranium beyond the limits imposed by the JCPOA.
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