Iran said on Monday it would not be pressured into a “quick” deal to revive its stalled 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as negotiations remain deadlocked.
“They are demanding that Iran make a quick decision, (insisting that) time is limited and Iran must respond quickly,” State Department spokesman Nasser Kanani said at his weekly news briefing, referring to Western ones parties to the nuclear deal.
Kanani said the Islamic Republic will not “sacrifice the country’s fundamental interests… through a hasty process.”
It is exposed to “psychological pressure and one-sided expectations,” he said.
But “if the US acts constructively and positively, an agreement is near,” Kanani said.
The 2015 deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program to guarantee it could not develop a nuclear weapon — something it has always denied attempting.
But the unilateral US withdrawal from the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and Washington’s renewed imposition of harsh economic sanctions prompted Iran to back down on its own commitments.
Talks in Vienna to restore the deal, which began in April 2021, have stalled on several issues since March due to differences between Tehran and Washington.
The two sides negotiated indirectly through the European Union Coordinator.
Qatar hosted indirect talks between the United States and Iran last month to restart the Vienna Process, but those talks stalled after two days without a breakthrough.
On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Iran “does not appear to have made the political decision – or decisions, should I say – necessary to secure a mutual return to compliance with the deal.”
France’s envoy to the United Nations, Nicolas de Riviere, urged Iran in June “to accept the offer on the table without delay.”
French President Emmanuel Macron told his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday that relaunching the landmark deal was “still possible” but had to happen “as soon as possible”.
Macron’s comments came after Britain’s spy chief expressed doubts that the deal could be revived, saying Iran’s supreme leader and ultimate decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains opposed.
“I don’t think the supreme leader… wants to make a deal. The Iranians won’t want to end the talks either, so they can go on for a while longer,” MI6 chief Richard Moore said late last week.