WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday urged Moscow and Tehran to make the “decisions” needed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, as last-minute demands from Russia could derail the process.
“There will need to be decisions made in places like Tehran and Moscow,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters after the European Union announced a pause in negotiations on the deal limiting Iran s nuclear program.
“We are confident that we can achieve mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA if… those decisions are made in places like Tehran and Moscow,” Price said, using the acronym for the deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The current round of talks between world powers and Iran in the Austrian capital Vienna appeared to be close to its goal, until Russia abruptly made a series of new demands last week.
Russia said it wanted assurances that economic sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its trade with Iran.
Price told reporters that “the new Russia-related sanctions have absolutely nothing to do with the JCPOA” and “should not have any impact on the negotiations.”
“We have no intention of offering Russia anything new or specific as it relates to these sanctions,” he added.
Price confirmed that U.S. negotiator Rob Marley has now returned to Washington with his team.
Price warned that “time is running out” to salvage the deal, which began to unravel after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the US in 2018.