Rob Malley, who is in charge of talks with Iran for the US State Department, said on Wednesday that he would be going to Vienna to resume talks about Tehran’s nuclear programme. The talks, which have been stuck for months over important last-minute details, will start up again when Malley comes back.
Malley said in a tweet, “Our expectations are still in check, but the US appreciates the EU’s efforts and is ready to try to reach an agreement in good faith.””It will be clear in the next few days” if Iran is ready for the same, he said.
The European Union was acting as a go-between for indirect talks between Washington and Tehran. These talks ended in March because Washington and Tehran couldn’t agree on the details of how to get back to talking about the 2015 nuclear deal.
On the table was a draught of an agreement that would give Tehran a break from sanctions if it agreed to limit its nuclear programme. This programme has been moving slowly, which has made people worry that the country could soon be able to make nuclear weapons. But Western officials say that a final deal has been put off in part because Tehran wants the United States to take the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) off the official blacklist of “foreign terrorist organisations” kept by the State Department (FTO).
In May, after former President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal on his own, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA), Malley told Congress that it was very likely that the talks would fail. This happened after former President Joe Biden tried to bring the agreement back to life the year before.
He said that the Iranian government had made important requests “that go beyond the limits of the JCPOA.” Since a deal might not be made, the US government has taken steps to strengthen its ties with Israel and other Gulf allies who are very against Iran having nuclear weapons.
Biden has said more than once that the US will not stand for Iran to have nuclear weapons. John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, said on Tuesday that the Obama administration was not willing to take the IRGC off its list of terrorist groups in order to reach a final agreement. “The president has spoken with great honesty. Iran’s government gives money to groups that do bad things “he told the news media.
“When asked if, as a result of the talks with Iran about the nuclear deal, he would be willing to take the IRGC off the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, he said no,” Kirby said. “The IRGC can’t do certain things because it is a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).” But when asked if the IRGC is actively working with terrorists, Kirby refused to answer the question.