Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns said that the US has not seen any evidence that Iran has made a decision to pursue obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Burns made the comments on Monday as he addressed the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, according to Haaretz.
The CIA chief said that the organization "doesn't see any evidence that Iran's Supreme Leader has made a decision to move to weaponize." He also echoed Secretary of State Antony Blinken's takeaways from last week's unsuccessful round of negotiations in Vienna on saving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, noting that "the Iranians have not been taking the negotiation seriously at this point."
He added that "we'll see soon enough about how serious they are."
Burns' comments come in the wake of senior Israeli officials issuing explicit threats over Iran's nuclear program, most notably from Mossad chief David Barnea, who is currently in Washington to meet with Burns and other senior US officials.
Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran on a return to the nuclear deal resumed in Vienna last week, after a six-month hiatus following the election in June of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
Iran has repeatedly demanded that the US lift sanctions imposed on Iran and also reassure Iran it will not abandon the deal again as a precondition for its returning to compliance with the deal.
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.
Blinken on Friday criticized Iran and said it is not serious about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
“What we’ve seen in the last couple of days is that Iran, right now, does not seem to be serious about doing what’s necessary to return to compliance, which is why we ended this round of talks in Vienna,” Blinken said during the Reuters Next conference, after the latest round of indirect talks adjourned.
He warned that the United States would not let Iran drag out the process while continuing to advance its nuclear program and stressed that Washington will pursue other options if diplomacy fails.
Raisi on Sunday vowed to tackle Iran's economic woes and said his government was working to lift the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
"Lifting sanctions is being pursued with vigor," he stated, alluding to the negotiations over the 2015 deal.