The US on Thursday urged Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to return to talks on both nations resuming compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, repeating the US stance that the window for diplomacy would not stay open forever.
With the victory of Raisi, who took the oath of office on Thursday, anti-Western hardliners loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would dominate all branches of authority in the Islamic Republic.
Iran has been in talks with six major states to revive an agreement that was abandoned three years ago by then-US President Donald Trump, who claimed it was too soft toward Iran. On June 20, the last round of talks in Vienna came to a close.
“Our message to President Raisi is the same as our message to his predecessors .. the US will defend and advance our national security interests and those of our partners. We hope that Iran seizes the opportunity now to advance diplomatic solutions,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
During a regular briefing, Price added, “We urge Iran to return to the negotiations soon so that we can seek to conclude our work.”
He said “this process cannot go on indefinitely” and at some point the benefits of reviving the 2015 agreement will have been eroded by the advancements of Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran began violating the pact in 2019 by engaging in nuclear activities that were banned under the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which gave it sanctions relief in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program (JCPOA).
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
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