The Biden government is looking at ways to secure a nuclear deal in Vienna, but Iran must make “strong political decisions now” or face a growing crisis, a government official told reporters Monday.
Why it is important: The comments are another indication of the optimism of Biden’s administration as the Vienna nuclear deal approaches the verdict. Last week, White House Middle East spokesman Brett McGurk said the US and Iran are in a trance “in the ball” of a possible contract.
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Drama: Biden officials have set the end of January or early February as the deadline for talks, mainly because they believe Iran’s recent nuclear proliferation will make the 2015 agreement inoperable.
What he says: The head of the State Department, speaking to anonymous reporters, said the talks are entering “final” this week.
“There are big opportunities, but we can see the path of unity if elections are held quickly with Iran,” the official stressed.
He added that the US would be able to continue negotiations for several weeks, otherwise Iran’s nuclear program would be too advanced.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh in contrast Monday said the Vienna talks have progressed significantly.
Next: The head of the government department said Biden’s administration was ready to negotiate directly with Iran, stressing that the talks would increase the chances of cooperation.
“It would be unfortunate if we lost the opportunity for a partnership because there was no direct dialogue,” the official said.
Although Iranian officials have so far refused to engage in direct talks with the US, they have in recent days flocked to the possibility of agreeing to withdraw from indirect talks through a European mediator in face-to-face with US negotiators.
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