US envoy: We can’t wait forever as Iran continues nuclear advances

US envoy: We can’t wait forever as Iran continues nuclear advances

Iranian president rejects ‘Western pressure,’ but is willing to hold talks to revive JCPOA.


If Iran postpones its return to talks for too long, the US will not agree to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, US Special Representative to Iran Rob Malley said, as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi rejected “Western pressure” on Saturday.

“The Iranian government says it still needs time, because it was just put into office and is trying to organize itself, which is understandable,” Malley told Bloomberg on Friday. “But at the same time, time is passing and... we’ll have to see if Iran is seriously prepared to come back to talks and what nuclear advances it has made in the meantime.”

The US and Iran engaged in indirect negotiations from April-June of this year in Vienna, with an eye toward returning to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. The JCPOA placed restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment, which would expire in 2030. The Trump administration left the deal in 2018, and US President Joe Biden said he would return to it and lift some of the sanctions Trump enacted. Meanwhile, in recent months Iran escalated its uranium enrichment and uranium metal development to unprecedented levels.