UPDATED 10:40 AM PT – Friday, October 8, 2021
The diplomatic tug of war between the U.S. and Iran continues. The State Department said it wants to resume talks with Iran to restore the failed 2015 nuclear deal.
In a statement Thursday, the department’s spokesman Ned Price said the talks with Iran held in Vienna, Austria would resume soon. This comes after Iran’s foreign minister expressed a similar sentiment earlier this week.
Price then appeared to suggest the Iranian side is dragging its feet on resuming talks.
“We also think an imminent return to Vienna is necessary because this is not a process that can go on indefinitely. This is not a process that can drag out or that can be dragged out,” said Price. “We are firmly of the belief that we need to work quickly.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 7, 2021
This as U.S. diplomats voice concern over Iran raising its uranium enrichment levels because it increases the possibility of them obtaining a nuclear weapon. Price added he believes restoring the nuclear deal with Iran is in America’s national interest.
“We have made very clear that we are prepared, willing and able to return to Vienna as soon as we have a partner to negotiate with indirectly. We have also made clear that we would be happy to engage in direct negotiations and in fact, this process would be much more effective if we had a direct negotiating partner,” the spokesman said. “The Iranians have not been willing to do that, as we know.”
While Iran has said it’s ready to rejoin the talks, it has yet to offer a date for a resumption, name a negotiating team, or even indicate that it’s willing to pick up where the negotiations left off in June.