Negotiations on reviving nuclear accord have stalled since hardliner Raisi was elected Iran's new president
US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the administration of US President Joe Biden "can't wait forever" for Iran to come back to the negotiating table in Vienna.
The sixth round of indirect talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 nuclear accord ended on June 20 and the Iranian government appears to be in no rush to restart talks, saying recently that the talks might not resume for another two to three months.
The return to negotiations has been complicated by the election to president in Iran of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.
Malley was the lead negotiator of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 in favor of imposing tough sanctions on the Iranian regime.
Biden has tasked Malley with bringing Iran back into compliance with the JCPOA.
“We can’t wait forever as Iran continues its nuclear advances because at some point their advances will be such as to make a return to the JCPOA much less valuable to the US than it would otherwise be,” Malley said.
Malley added that the US was “prepared to be patient" but said that unless progress was being made again on negotiations that at some point "we'll have to reach a different conclusion," a similar outlook to that expressed by Biden recently in remarks during a White House visit by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
If diplomacy fails with Iran, then "we're ready to turn to other options," Biden said.