Iran to resume nuclear talks as US insists it is ‘ready to use other options’ if diplomacy fails


The parties to the joint comprehensive action plan will meet again in Vienna almost six months later to discuss a return to mutual agreement between the United States and Iran, but this gap has given time for new sanctions to take root.

On Friday, Iran announced further advances in its uranium enrichment, which would reduce the time required for Tehran to develop a nuclear weapon, which, if it does, clearly indicates Iran’s influence when it comes to Vienna for talks.

The other parties to the agreement including Germany, the United Kingdom, Britain, France, China and Russia are calling for talks from where they left off. European sources expect CNN Iranians to consider the meeting a “round one.” U.S. officials have expressed similar concerns.

The recently elected austerity government in Tehran will send new negotiators to Vienna to insist that they fully lift US sanctions and abide by the agreement, while US officials say there are no plans to encourage Iran to talk. .

‘Less time to choose’

Senior U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that if developments in Iran’s nuclear program and enrichment capacity continue unabated, they could reap the benefits of the JCPOA joint forcing the United States to pursue other options.

“We still hope that diplomacy will find a way,” said Brett McCurk, co-ordinator of the National Security Council for the Middle East and North Africa, at a conference in Manama organized by the International Strategic Research Institute. “But if it can’t find a way, we’re willing to use other options.”

“There is no question that Iran is not going to allow itself to acquire a nuclear weapon, period,” McGurk said. “When it comes to military force for behavior change, it’s a very vague goal for a military force. When it comes to military force preventing a country from acquiring a nuclear weapon, it is a very achievable goal.”

In a tweet after a meeting with Middle Eastern allies and European parties on November 18, US Special Envoy to Iran Rob Malley said that Iran could choose one of two paths: the continuing nuclear boom and crisis or the reciprocal return to the JCPOA. Opportunities for regional economic and diplomatic relations.

“Less time to choose,” Malli wrote.

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Sources close to the preparations for the talks said that the parties were closely monitoring the visit of the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Croce, to Tehran last week, which was seen as an indication of Iran’s approach to the talks in Vienna. Grossi told the IAEA panel that the talks were “not over.”

One of the remaining contentious issues is Iran’s denial of IAEA surveillance access to the garage centrifugal production facility, which has reportedly resumed operations.

“It simply came to our notice then [IAEA’s] Ability to restore the continuity of knowledge [Karaj] The workshop was widely recognized as essential for a return to the JCPOA, “said Crossey at a board meeting of governors on Wednesday.

The Arms Control Association noted that ensuring that Iran’s refusal to install new cameras for the IAEA, or the resumption of production, could undermine efforts to revive the JCPOA and its rigorous verification system if the record of Iran’s nuclear program could not be fully completed. . The ACA said Tehran’s refusal to allow the garage had provoked speculation and concern about exactly what Iran was doing.

‘There is no other way’

On Thursday, the US delegation to international organizations in Vienna told the IAEA, “If Iran’s non-cooperation is not rectified immediately … the board has no choice but to restore the continuity of knowledge in the garage, except in an extraordinary way. Session by the end of this year to resolve the crisis.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, Iran announced that its reserves of 60% enriched uranium had grown to 66 pounds (30 kilograms) and that its quantity of 20% enriched uranium had increased. Both levels are very close to weapons grade uranium enriched above 90%.

According to the Arms Control Association, enrichment of uranium to 20% is “90 percent of the work required to enrich weapons-quality.”

The ACA says that as Iran’s stockpile increases, so does its disintegration time or the time it takes to produce enough uranium-enriched weapons for a bomb. The ACA estimates that Iran’s current breakout time could be around one month, down from 12 months after the JCPOA was fully implemented.

Enrichment was limited under the JCPOA, which exited the United States unilaterally in May 2018 under former President Donald Trump. Iran resumed enrichment last year to pressure the United States to ease sanctions.

‘Very uncertain opinion’

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nate Price said in a statement that the resumption of hostilities on November 22 was a “very uncertain” return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA.

The next day, Price told reporters in Washington, “Our hope is that the new government in Iran will show up in Vienna and be ready to negotiate in good faith to build on the progress made in Vienna over the previous six years. Round of negotiations.”

But to resume talks, he added, “the United States is very clear that we are not prepared to take unilateral action solely for the benefit of greasing the wheel.” Former President Donald Trump expelled the United States from the agreement in 2018.

Sources close to CNN, who are well aware of the preparations for the talks, said the United States and its allies were not in the process of building confidence in Iran, but that the United States and its allies had the potential to hire them. Road. As a result, US and European sources explain that concessions to Iran will not be discussed at this week’s meetings in Vienna, where the US and its allies will focus on taking the temperature and moving forward from where it left off months ago.

‘Project B’

Everyone involved in the conversation pays attention to the ticking clock. There is still time to reach an agreement, but sources told CNN that it could be completed by the end of next year. For now, they said, there is no harder and faster “Plan B”.

Critics of the deal say the Biden administration has sacrificed foreign power by easing pressure on Iran to build its nuclear program.

“The Biden administration’s policy in Iran is failing, and that policy will result in a war on Iran’s nuclear weapons or a significant stop to that development without significant change,” said Mark Dubovitz, CEO of the Defense Foundation for Democracies. Dubovitz argued that the administration’s approach would allow Iran to rebuild its path to nuclear weapons and a “dead end” with a strong nuclear infrastructure.

“Israel has no choice but to use military force to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons until Tehran reaches this deadly end,” Dubovitz said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett has made it clear that Israel is ready to take action if needed. Speaking to delegates at a security conference near Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Bennett said, “If it returns to the JCPOA, Israel is clearly not a party to the agreement and is not committed to it.”

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After the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, Bennett complained, “The state of Israel is simply asleep. We are occupied with other things. We will learn a lesson from this mistake. We will defend our independence.”

Western officials have tried to argue with the Israelis that attacks on Israel’s nuclear program would not be very effective, especially when the overall goal is to come up with a comprehensive solution, especially as the Iranians have accelerated their ability to rebuild after the attack. Iran talks with CNN

Western officials have raised the risk of reacting to Iran’s dynamic action, but sources familiar with the talks say Israeli officials still think it is a useful tool to demonstrate their capabilities.

Responding to those warnings, Bryce said, “In the end, the United States and Israel share a common goal, and to permanently prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Hope to continue.

“We also make it very clear that this is not a process that can continue indefinitely. “We have different options. We discuss with our partners and associates.”

Diplomatic wave

In recent weeks, US officials have been engaged in diplomacy with regional powers and other parties in an effort to form a united front.

President Joe Biden met with European partners to discuss Iran during the G7 summit in Britain in June. In recent weeks, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been consulting with European allies, including China and Russia on Iran. And Malle recently met with Gulf states, Israeli officials and European partners in the JCPOA.

“I think the Iranians have some eastern preference with Russia and China, in which they can avoid the pressure of sanctions,” McGurk said Sunday. “That’s wrong. So I think we will approach negotiations with P5 + 1 as a pretty united front by the end of November.”

CNN’s Andrew Gary in Israel and CNN’s Mustafa Salem in Abu Dhabi contributed to the report.


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