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US looking for ‘excuse’ to derail talks on reviving Iran nuclear deal: Russian source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo taken from the Twitter page of Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora, parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are seen during a round of negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on April 27, 2021.

A Russian diplomatic source says the administration of US President Joe Biden is looking for an “excuse” to derail talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Statements are being made overseas every now and then that make one doubt the current US administration’s commitment to its promises to bring the US back to the JCPOA,” the unnamed source told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Sunday, Tasnim reported.

“Americans are thrashing about and looking for a convenient excuse to derail from the course on revival of the nuclear deal,” the source added, expressing hope that Washington can more strongly show its dedication to renewing the landmark deal and correcting prior mistakes.

The source further said that the US should observe the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2231, which endorses the JCPOA, and correct its own violations of the resolution.

The Russian source also said that experts with the Vienna talks have found during months of work that the deal’s revival on the originally-agreed terms was possible.

“For this, our US colleagues just lack the political will to make the final step on reaching an agreement on this matter. We hope that they will stop muddying waters, pull themselves together and follow through on the revival of the nuclear deal,” the source added.

Earlier this week, US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said Biden is willing to take military action against Iran if Tehran rejects Washington’s terms on the nuclear deal. Malley also said Washington would rather focus its attention on recent riots across Iran rather than the Vienna talks.

The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 between Tehran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China during the presidency of Barack Obama.

However, Obama’s successor Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA in May 2018 and slapped cruel sanctions on Iran. Biden had vowed to resume talks to revive the deal and remove the harsh US sanctions. Two years into his presidency, Biden has failed to keep his promise and is now threatening to take military action.   

Iran maintains that it is necessary for the other side to offer some guarantees that it will remain committed to any agreement that is reached.

The talks to salvage the agreement kicked off in the Austrian capital of Vienna in April last year, with the intention of examining Washington’s seriousness in rejoining the deal and removing anti-Iran sanctions.

The talks remain stalled since August, as Washington continues to insist on its hard-nosed position of not removing all sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic by the previous US administration.

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