Time shrinking for Iran nuclear deal, US envoy warns
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Robert Malley said Iran risked making it "impossible" to gain any benefit from resuming the agreement, which has been on hold since then president Donald Trump walked away in 2018.
This week, with Iran set for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.
"The time will come if Iran continues at this pace with the advancements they've made, (it) will make it impossible even if we were going to go back to the JCPOA to recapture the benefits," Malley told the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain.
"Iran's advances are spreading alarm across the region... that's what's making the clock tick faster and making all of us say that the time is short for a return to the JCPOA," Malley said.
Malley said the US shared a "commonality of purpose" with rivals Russia and China "because we want to avoid that crisis, all of us, the crisis that would be sparked if Iran continues on its current path".
The US envoy said he was not encouraged by the statements from the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which earlier on Friday accused Washington of conducting a "propaganda campaign" against the country.
"If they stick to their public pronouncements, unfortunately we're not headed in the right direction... but let's wait to see what happens," he said, pledging that President Joe Biden would honour a revived deal.
"The US government, which is responsible for the current situation after withdrawing from the nuclear deal, is once again trying to provoke a crisis," foregn ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh charged.