Efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have hit a wall because of Iran's insistence on the closure of the UN nuclear watchdog's investigations, a senior US State Department official said on Thursday, according to Reuters.
"We've hit a wall" because of Iran's stance, the US official told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The official added that nothing has happened this week to suggest Iran is willing to change its stance.
Iran and the United States have been holding indirect talks on a return to the 2015 agreement, but those talks have hit a snag in recent weeks.
Iran recently announced it had submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
While Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at the time that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach, a senior Biden administration official told Politico, “We are studying Iran’s response, but the bottom line is that it is not at all encouraging.”
A senior European official directly involved in nuclear talks with Iran later told Axios’ Barak Ravid that Iran’s latest response to the EU’s proposal is unreasonable and indicates that the Iranians are not interested in closing a deal.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said last week that Iran's position in the negotiations has not been changed, claiming that "the only obstacle to an agreement is the lack of realism and necessary determination on the part of America."
Western diplomats have said there are no active negotiations at the moment and it is unlikely that a breakthrough could happen before the US midterm elections in November.
France's Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, said this week that there would not be a better offer for Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, adding it is up to Tehran to decide now because the window to find a solution was closing.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that the prospects for a nuclear deal with Iran in the near term are unlikely.
"I can't give you a timeline except to say, again, that Iran seems either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to reach an agreement," he stated.