Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna Reuters

The United States will not "sit idly" on Iran if it drags its feet on returning to a nuclear accord in talks resuming next week, the US special envoy said, according to AFP.

"If they start getting too close, too close for comfort, then of course we will not be prepared to sit idly," US negotiator Rob Malley was quoted as having told National Public Radio.

"We're prepared to get back into the deal and to lift all of the sanctions that are inconsistent with the deal. So if Iran wants to get back into the deal, it has a way to do that," Malley added.

"If it doesn't want to get back into the deal, if it continues to do what it appears to be doing now, which is to drag its feet at the nuclear diplomatic table and accelerate its pace when it comes to its nuclear program, if that's the path it chooses, we'll have to respond accordingly," he stressed.

Talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna, aimed at saving Tehran's 2015 deal with major powers, will resume on November 29.

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.

President Joe Biden's administration opened the talks earlier this year in hopes of returning the United States to the deal, but has failed to reach an understanding with Iran.

The negotiations are being held indirectly, with an EU envoy shuttling between Malley and the Iranian delegation.

Soon after the resumption of talks was announced, Iran demanded that the US lift sanctions imposed on Iran as part of the nuclear talks and also reassure Iran it will not abandon the deal again.

US officials have said that while they prefer the diplomatic route to reach an agreement with Iran, there are other options on the table should that fail.

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