The U.S. and Iran are close to reaching a 2015 agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, the State Department said Wednesday.
“We’re close to a possible deal, but we’re not there yet,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “We think the rest of the issues can be bridged.”
Speaking to reporters, Price declined to confirm Tehran’s claim that only the last two issues were resolved before Tehran could reinstate the six-party Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at preventing the development of nuclear weapons.
The main issues, according to sources close to the talks, are Iran’s demands for “economic guarantees” if a future US administration changes its position and repeals the agreement, as President Donald Trump did in 2018; and that Washington should remove its official terrorist group from the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Price said the issues could be overcome but the 11-month talks are “in a very delicate phase”.
“There is little time left for Tehran’s nuclear progress to develop nuclear weapons that would undermine any agreement,” he said.
“It’s a matter of urgency,” he said.
Although an agreement is near, State Department chief negotiator Rob Malley remains in Washington talks in Vienna, suggesting that nothing will be signed in the coming days.
An agreement may also be postponed for Sunday’s celebration of Iran’s New Year’s Eve.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a union feed.)