WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- A senior U.S. official says Washington will not give Tehran assurances that a future U.S. administration would not withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement again.
“There is no such thing as a guarantee, and I think Iran knows it and we know it,” the official told reporters during a press briefing on Thursday.
“We have no guarantee; they have no guarantee. That’s the way the JCPOA is built, that if one side violated, the other side would – its remedy would be to take countermanding steps,” the official quoted by a Wall Street Journal correspondent said, referring to the nuclear deal by its official acronym.
Washington has so far declined to offer Iran guarantees that a future U.S. administration would not repeat the mistake of the Donald Trump administration, which abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 and imposed harsh rounds of economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The sixth round of the talks between the remaining parties to JCPOA adjourned on Sunday due to the negotiators’ need for further consultations with their capitals.
UN Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday called on Washington to remove the sanctions and extend “waivers” on Iran’s oil sales.
In his eleventh report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Guterres voiced satisfaction over the diplomatic efforts in the Austrian capital regarding the full implementation of the JCPOA and Resolution 2231 that endorses the nuclear deal, IRNA reported.
He also said such moves are necessary so that the Iranian people would be able to enjoy the economic benefits of the JCPOA.
The U.S. has promised to rejoin the deal and remove the anti-Iran sanctions, but so far it has failed to accept the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions that run counter to the deal’s promises to Tehran.
The senior U.S. official said Washington may need to rethink its approach toward Iran if the Vienna talks fail to resolve the remaining differences over the implementation of the JCPOA.
“We still have serious differences ... over the host of issues, whether it’s the nuclear steps that Iran needs to take to come back into compliance, the sanctions relief that the U.S. would be offering or the sequence of steps that both sides would be taking,” the official said.
“This process is not going to be open forever,” added the official. “We do have differences and if we can’t bridge them in the foreseeable future, I think we are going to have to regroup and figure out how we move ahead.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said of Friday a nuclear deal with Iran is “within reach”, the TASS news agency cited him as saying.