US urges Iran to show 'good faith' in nuclear talks

White House press secretary responds skeptically to Iran’s announcement that it will resume nuclear talks in November.

Elad Benari ,

The White House
The White House
iStock

The United States on Wednesday urged Iran to show “good faith” after the Islamic Republic indicated it would return to nuclear negotiations in Vienna next month.

"We are prepared to return to Vienna, and we believe that it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on return to mutual full compliance" with the 2015 nuclear deal, a State Department spokesperson said.

The talks should focus on "closing the small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of the sixth round of talks in June," added the spokesperson.

"As we have also been clear, this window will not remain open forever as Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps, so we hope that they come to Vienna to negotiate quickly and in good faith."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded skeptically to Iran’s announcement, saying administration are waiting for European officials to confirm that Iran is indeed ready to resume talks.

“I would leave to the negotiators to determine when the next round of discussions will be,” Psaki said, according to AP. “Our framing continues to be compliance for compliance, and we’ll leave it up to the Europeans and our negotiators to determine when the next step would be.”

The comments came after Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran's new chief negotiator on the nuclear issue, announced on Twitter that negotiations with western powers in Vienna over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program would resume by the end of November.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

However, the negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election, and no date has been set for a resumption of dialogue.

The EU envoy in charge of coordinating the nuclear talks, Enrique Mora visited Tehran earlier this month to meet members of Iran's nuclear negotiating team.

After Mora's visit, Iran's foreign ministry said it would hold talks in the coming days with the EU in Brussels. An EU official later said that Iran is not ready to return to talks with world powers over its nuclear program yet.

Earlier this week, the US Special Envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, said that the efforts to resume talks with Iran are in a “critical phase”.

Adding “that the “window for diplomacy is never going to be closed,” Malley said that diplomacy will continue to be pursued “even as we pursue other steps” if needed.

He went on to state that the window to revive the agreement will not remain open forever.



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