The increasing non-optimistic statements about the possibility of reaching an agreement soon in the Vienna negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, while the United States accused Iran of lack of seriousness, Tehran rejects the principle of concluding an interim agreement on its nuclear file and demands international guarantees.

After eight rounds of talks, sticking points remain over the speed and scope of lifting sanctions on Tehran, including Iran's demand for a US guarantee of no further punitive steps, and how and when restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities are restored.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the administration of US President Joe Biden is frustrated by what she described as the lack of seriousness of the Iranians in the Vienna negotiations.

During her regular meeting with the media, Psaki added that the previous US administration's withdrawal from the agreement contributed to accelerating the Iranian nuclear program and increased its interference in the region, including the attack on US forces in Iraq.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed the Biden administration's frustration with the Vienna negotiations (Reuters)

For his part, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that setting a specific date for negotiations with Iran is impossible.

"We have said previously that the path is very narrow, and we are not talking about a long period remaining. We are talking about weeks, not months," he added.

In turn, the US State Department said that the United States is constantly consulting with its allies in the Gulf states about progress in nuclear talks with Iran.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed - in a tweet on Twitter - that the time available to return to the nuclear agreement with Iran is short;

It is a matter of weeks, not months.

Diplomats say Iran and the United States are showing little flexibility on the core issues of the indirect nuclear talks in Vienna, raising questions about the possibility of a compromise soon to renew the 2015 agreement, allaying fears of a wider war in the Middle East.

Iranian refusal

For his part, the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament Vahid Jalalzad announced that Washington is not ready to provide guarantees, and only pledges to sign any agreement.

Zadeh said that his country's strategy is not based on concluding a temporary agreement, explaining that the interim agreement calls for stopping the production of centrifuges and reducing the rate of uranium enrichment, as well as the idea of ​​releasing some frozen Iranian funds.

The Iranian official stressed that Washington rejects a long-term verification mechanism and is talking about a short one, indicating that his country is demanding American guarantees backed by an international resolution from the Security Council.


Regarding US sanctions on Tehran, Zadeh revealed that the United States is not ready to lift all sanctions and is seeking to keep some of them.

The head of the National Security Committee considered that Iran is not optimistic about Washington's return to implementing its commitments in the nuclear agreement, as it wants to return and exploit the nuclear agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program, as he put it.

Iran insists on the immediate lifting of all sanctions imposed under former US President Donald Trump in a verifiable process.

Washington says it will lift restrictions that contravene the 2015 agreement if Iran resumes compliance with the agreement, which means it will leave other restrictions in place, such as those imposed under terrorism or human rights measures.

Axios revealed that the Biden administration had set the end of January or early February as the date for a decision on negotiations with Iran.

France's position

In turn, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said - in front of the French parliament on Tuesday - that world powers and Iran are far from reaching an agreement to revive the nuclear agreement, and he also expressed his regret at the slowdown in talks, which undermines the chances of finding a solution that respects the interests of all parties, as he put it.

Last Friday, the French foreign minister was more optimistic when he said that the negotiations were progressing "on a relatively positive track," and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, commented that France had changed its behavior and stopped playing the role of a "bad cop" in the talks.

Commenting on the atmosphere of the talks in Vienna, Abul-Qasim Bayinat, a fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in a report published in The National Interest that it has become increasingly clear that restoring the nuclear agreement is a major challenge without a guarantee. its continuity.

He added that after a few years after Trump withdrew from the agreement, then launched his maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and Tehran responded by accelerating and expanding its nuclear program, policymakers in Washington and Tehran must ensure that the agreement remains in force for all its parties for its lifetime, once it is revived.

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