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Iran Deal Requires Faster Diplomacy or Slower Nuclear Advances: U.S. Official

“We are prepared and willing to reach a deal soon. But we are also prepared and bracing for the possibility of a breakdown which would spell the JCPOA’s likely demise,” the U.S. official said.
Iran deal requires faster diplomacy or slower nuclear advances: U.S. official
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow today. Photo: Pavel BednyakovTASS via Getty


To get a deal, Iran will have to either accelerate its pace at the negotiating table or slow down the pace of its nuclear program to buy more time for diplomacy, a senior U.S. official involved in the Vienna nuclear talks tells Axios.

Why it matters: Biden administration officials have set the end of January or beginning of February as an unofficial deadline for the talks, in large part because they believe Iran’s nuclear advances will soon render the 2015 deal ineffective.

  • The U.S. official said there had been some progress recently in the nuclear talks but that it had been “painfully slow and painfully small,” with the core issues still unresolved.
  • The talks aimed at salvaging the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are being held between Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany, the U.K. and EU, with the U.S. participating indirectly.
  • A European diplomat briefed on the talks said gaps still remain on the steps the Iranians need to take to limit their nuclear program, on the scope of sanctions relief to be provided to Iran, and on the guarantees Iran is demanding that no future U.S. administration will pull out and reimpose sanctions.

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