Iran: The United States will not ‘sit passively’ if Iran withdraws from nuclear negotiations: Envoy

WASHINGTON: The United States will not “sit passively” on Iran if it drags its feet after returning to a nuclear deal in talks that resume next week, the U.S. envoy said.
“If they start getting too close, too close for comfort, then of course we will not be prepared to sit passively,” US retailer Rob Malley told National Public Radio in excerpts released Tuesday.
Iran will return to talks in Vienna with world powers on Monday after a five-month gap following the election of an ultra-conservative president, Ebrahim Raisi.
The talks come after the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, returning from a visit to Iran, said that no progress had been made in the negotiations on disputes over the country’s program.
President Joe Biden’s administration began talks earlier this year in hopes of bringing the United States back to a 2015 nuclear deal that was destroyed by its predecessor Donald Trump, but has failed to reach an agreement with Iran.
“We are ready to come back to the agreement and to lift all the sanctions that are incompatible with the agreement. So if Iran wants to come back to the agreement, it has a way of doing it,” Malley said.
“If it does not want to get back in the agreement, if it continues to do what it seems to be doing now, which is to pull its feet at the nuclear diplomatic table and set the pace when it comes to its nuclear program, if it is the path it chooses, we will have to react accordingly. ”
The negotiations are being held indirectly with an EU envoy on a shuttle service between Malley and the Iranian delegation, who refuses to meet the US representative face to face.
Iran has called for the lifting of all sanctions, but the Biden administration says it only discusses measures imposed by Trump as part of its withdrawal from the nuclear deal, including a comprehensive unilateral US ban on all other nations buying Iran’s main oil exports.
Israel, which vehemently opposed the 2015 agreement negotiated by President Barack Obama, has waged a campaign of sabotage against Iran and threatened military action.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has talked about “other options”, although Malley in the interview made it clear that the US was primarily thinking about economic pressure.

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