Iran walks back all prior concessions in nuclear talks, US official says


Iran walked back all compromises made in previous talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, pocketed compromises made by others and asked for more in its latest proposals, a senior US state department official told reporters on Saturday.

Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in pretty provocative ways and China and Russia were taken aback at how far Iran had walked back its proposals in talks in Vienna, the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Donald Trump withdrew the US from the the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Indirect talks between Iran and the Biden administration on saving the deal broke off on Friday, as European officials voiced dismay on at sweeping demands by Iran’s new, hardline government.

The seventh round of talks in Vienna is the first with delegates sent by Iran’s anti-western president, Ebrahim Raisi, on how to resuscitate the agreement under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Iran came “with proposals that walked back anything – any of the compromises Iran had floated here in the six rounds of talks, pocket all of the compromises that others, and the US in particular, had made, and then asked for more”, the senior US official said.

The official told reporters he did not know when the next round of talks would resume – other officials had said they would reconvene next week – and stressed the date was less important than Iran’s willingness to negotiate seriously.

Iranian news websites on Saturday quoted a student news agency as saying a large explosion had been heard in the sky above the town of Natanz, which houses nuclear sites. State television said air defense missiles had been fired in a test.

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