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Negotiations on Iran nuclear program at crossroads, US officials say

US State Department officials warned that restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action might be “impossible” because of Iranian nuclear advances, during a background briefing with reporters.

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On Monday, US State Department officials warned that restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action might be “impossible” because of Iranian nuclear advances, during a background briefing with reporters

It was “hard to imagine” restoring the JCPOA agreement without Iran also releasing four Americans who were being held hostage by Iranian forces, a Senior State Department official also said.

The official said that Iran’s nuclear capabilities could go beyond limits imposed under the JCPOA, creating an “extremely dangerous” situation for the Middle East and the world, unless progress was made.

The senior State Department official, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “We are in the final stretch because, as we have said now for some time, this cannot go on forever because of Iran’s nuclear advancements.”

The official further expressed that this is not a prediction or threat but a requirement that was conveyed indirectly to Iran and to all P5+1 states for some time. Given the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances, they only have a handful of weeks left to get a deal, he added, after which point it will no longer be possible to return to the JCPOA and to recapture the non-proliferation benefits that the deal provided.

Last month, Iranian officials pledged to not seek uranium grade-level enrichment above 60 percent.

The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the JCPOA, was signed on July 14, 2015, by Iran and the P5+1 nations and ratified by the UN on July 29, 2015. These countries include China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran, which were lifted by the deal.

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