US and Iran explain why nuclear talks stalled — Analysis
Washington says Iran is making new demands, while Tehran says the US can’t be trusted
In an interview with Robert Malley, the US special representative for Iran, Robert Malley stated that negotiations to revive 2015’s nuclear agreement have not been able to make any progress since Iran made unrelated demands. Meanwhile, Tehran said it was only insisting on the full removal of the US embargo and guarantees that Washington won’t renege on the deal again, as it did in 2018.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Malley commented on the impasse in the Qatari indirect talks between Iran and the US.
“They have, including in Doha, added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal, things that they’ve wanted in the past,”He stated.
“The discussion that really needs to take place right now is not so much between us and Iran, although we’re prepared to have that. It’s between Iran and itself. They need to come to a conclusion about whether they are now prepared to come back into compliance with the deal,”Malley also added.
Iran has repeatedly insisted that the US has it backwards, and that Washington must return to the deal first – including lifting the “snap-back” sanctions – before Tehran can be expected to abide by its limitations.
If the US shows interest, talks could turn out to be positive “seriousness and flexibility,”According to state news agency IRNA, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke with Sayyid Badr albusaidi on Monday.
Iran is demanding a verifiable mechanism for the full removal of US sanctions, and guarantees from Washington that it won’t exit the deal again, Amir-Abdollahian added.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by Iran, the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany in July 2015, and placed limitations on Tehran’s civilian nuclear programs so they could not reach military applications – in exchange for sanctions relief.
Even though the United Nations nuclear watchdog consistently confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the agreement over many years, Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the pact on May 18, 2018 and reinstated all American sanctions. Iran responded to the JCPOA by slowly reducing its commitments and insisting that it will return fully compliant only when the US sanctions are lifted.