Nuclear talks restart as US and Israel turn up pressure on Iran

While Tehran insists on its stance, US and Israel warned that the failure of diplomacy in negotiations could lead to economic and military consequences.

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The negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal resumed on Thursday amidst warnings of the United States and Israel, stating the failure of diplomacy in the talks could open a road for economic and military consequences.

The head of Iran’s negotiation team, Ali Bagheri Kani, stated his country’s insistence on the stance based on the framework put on the table last week.

Speaking with reporters following the opening meeting of the negotiations on Thursday, Bagheri said, “Iran underlined that it is seriously continuing the talks based on its previous position.”

Iran’s approach caused the talks to be adjourned without a breakthrough. European parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and US officials blame Iran for coming up with new comprehensive demands and refrain from reaching a reconciliation.

The latest round of talks, held last week, was the first after a five-month break erupted due to hardliner Ebrahim Raisi’s election as Iran’s new president. In the last week’s discussions with the new Iranian government, Tehran came up with new demands by disregarding the compromises made in the previous six rounds of talks by the former government, the Western officials alleged.

Uttering that diplomacy is a favorite way to resolve the issue, some US officials stated that other options are available if it is needed.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “Given the ongoing advances in Iran’s nuclear program, the president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options.”

Pointing to economic sanctions, Psaki added, “If diplomacy cannot get on track soon and if Iran’s nuclear program continues to accelerate, then we will have no choice but to take additional measures to restrict Iran’s revenue-producing sectors further.”

Meanwhile, Reuters exclusively reported on Thursday that US and Israeli defense chiefs are expected to discuss possible military exercises to increase the preparedness of both sides’ forces to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails in the nuclear negotiations.

Ahead of the meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that Iran failed to bring a positive approach to the table in the Vienna talks that US President Biden hopes will restore the deal.

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