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US close to admitting failure of Iran talks, claim Israeli officials

US President Joe Biden at the White House on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC, United States [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]
US President Joe Biden at the White House on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC, United States [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli officials said on Tuesday that the US is closer than ever to admitting defeat on President Joe Biden's stated goal of a return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran, Israel Hayom has reported.

"The possibility that the parties will sign an agreement in the foreseeable future is dwindling at an exponential rate," the newspaper quoted an unnamed Israeli official source as saying. Another source told Israel's Kan public broadcaster that the White House "is much more willing these days, than it was in the past" to admit that the talks are likely to fail.

The talks in Vienna between Iran and the world powers were put on hold six weeks ago, due to Iran's demand for Washington to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the US terrorist list. Last week, a senior Israeli diplomat claimed that Biden administration officials had notified their European counterparts that Washington does not plan to remove the corps from the list.

Iran said on Monday that a new meeting will take place as soon as possible as part of the direct negotiations with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, and indirectly with the US. "It is appropriate that a face-to-face meeting is held as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told journalists. "It is not yet decided where and when to have this meeting and at what level it should be held, but it is on the agenda."

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The 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal between Iran and world powers eased sanctions on Tehran in return for restrictions on its nuclear plans. In 2018, Donald Trump withdrew the US unilaterally from the agreement and reimposed harsh economic sanctions. Iran responded by pulling back from its commitments under the agreement.

According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran is the "best way" to confront the Iranian threat.

"We continue to believe that getting back into compliance with the agreement would be the best way to address the nuclear challenge imposed by Iran and to make sure that an Iran that is already acting with incredible aggression doesn't have a nuclear weapon," Blinken has told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. "Reaching an agreement with Tehran on its nuclear file," he added, "will not affect Washington's ability to confront Iran's other malign activities."

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