Before the Vienna negotiations resume, Washington alludes to targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Tehran accuses the West of exchanging roles | Politics news

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Hours before the resumption of the seventh round of negotiations to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement in Vienna today, Thursday, a US official announced that his country is studying maneuvers with Israel in preparation for striking Iranian nuclear facilities. In return, Tehran accused European countries and Washington of exchanging roles in exerting pressure on it.

Reuters news agency quoted what it described as a high-ranking US official (unnamed) that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Israeli Benny Gantz are expected to discuss on Thursday military exercises to prepare for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The official added that the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities remains the worst option if diplomacy fails and the worst scenario materializes, as he put it.

The official added that Pentagon leaders had previously briefed US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on October 25 of the full range of military options available to ensure that Iran was unable to produce a nuclear weapon.

Reuters said that the US-Israeli preparations, which were not previously disclosed, underscore the West’s concern about difficult nuclear talks with Iran.

It is expected that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz will arrive in Washington on Thursday to discuss the Iranian nuclear file, in conjunction with a visit started a few days ago by the head of the Mossad to the American capital.

A week ago, the Israeli Defense Minister said that there may be no escape from striking Iran, and that Israel is preparing for this possibility, referring to the approval of a ministerial committee on the purchase of weapons and ammunition.

Earlier, the US State Department said that “the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, intends to participate in the Vienna talks, noting that Washington is looking forward to Iran presenting a serious proposal.”

The US State Department confirmed Washington’s readiness to return to indirect negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file.

The previous round was halted last Friday after the participating parties requested time to study the proposals made by Iran regarding the lifting of US sanctions.

Before the talks stopped, Iran presented proposals for lifting the sanctions and later defended them, while the Western powers, particularly the United States, criticized them, indicating that they constituted evidence of Tehran’s lack of seriousness in reaching an agreement, and a reversal of what the previous rounds in Vienna had reached.

The ball is in Iran’s court

In turn, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the ball is now in Iran’s court to show how serious it is in talks about its nuclear program.

Sullivan added that Iran’s lack of seriousness in negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement will cause its isolation.

And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that it would not remain open indefinitely for Iran to comply with the deal.

Blinken added – in an interview during an event for The Wall Street Journal – that Washington will not allow Tehran not to return with reasonable and serious proposals to address outstanding issues while it continues to advance its program.

In the context of Western positions, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said today, Wednesday, that the round of talks in Vienna tomorrow, Thursday, represents the last chance for Iran to abide by the nuclear agreement.

In a lecture she gave in London, the British minister urged Iran to sign the joint action plan, and said that this was in its interest, stressing that the countries of the group involved in the 2015 nuclear agreement were determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

On Tuesday, the French Foreign Ministry said that Iran’s proposals, which it presented at the beginning of the seventh round of Vienna negotiations, do not constitute a reasonable basis for any agreement.

role-playing

On the other hand, the spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Iranian parliament, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh, accused European countries of exchanging roles with Washington in putting pressure on them.

For his part, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri said that Tehran’s presentation of two drafts during the Vienna negotiations was a constructive step by Tehran.

Bagheri added, during a telephone conversation with the Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, that the Iranian proposals submitted to European countries have been documented and logically recorded, and that Tehran hopes from the other side to provide documented, logical and clear responses.

And Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdullahian said – in an article in a Russian newspaper – that returning to the nuclear agreement requires a complete lifting of all US sanctions and verification, stressing that the guarantees required from Washington to return to the agreement and lift sanctions cannot be waived.

Abdullahian stressed his country’s refusal to present any issues not related to the nuclear agreement at the negotiating table in Vienna, and said that the administration of US President Joe Biden continues what he described as the sabotage policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

The Iranian Foreign Minister said that the Vienna negotiations are faltering due to what he described as US bids and illegal demands.

As for Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, he said that the proposals presented by his country are based on drafts of previous rounds, and are subject to discussion and negotiation.

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