Some progress made in Vienna negotiations: White House

TEHRAN, Jan. 15 (MNA) – Stating that there has been some progress made in Vienna negotiations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Washington's preference is always diplomacy.

In response to a question about the recent remarks of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who claimed that the time to reach an agreement with Iran is limited in Vienna talks, Psaki said in Friday's press briefing, "I, of course, agree with Secretary Blinken. I mean, I was going to say he’s absolutely right, which seems like a silly thing to say. But I would note, Weijia, that it is a critical time, and this is how the President sees it as well. Though there has been some progress made in negotiations, if we don’t reach an understanding soon — a mutual return to compliance — we will have to consider a different path forward."

"And the bottom line is the President is not going to allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. And as Secretary Blinken noted, they have made progress, and this is no thanks to the decision by the former president to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement despite promises that they would agree on a stronger agreement that Iran would not move forward. They have done exactly those things. Exactly those things they predicted would not happen have happened," she added. 

Without mentioning the failure of the US various options against Iran, Jen Psaki claimed that diplomacy is an option that Washington prefers to use for Iran. "That is why we’re in the point we are in, but that means — several weeks ago, the President asked his team to prepare a range of options. They have done that, and obviously, our preference is always diplomacy."

The removal of sanctions and the issue of verification and guarantees that the other parties will abide by their obligations this time and the US will not reimpose the sanctions are among the most important and sensitive issues discussed between the parties in recent weeks.

Diplomats have said that there has been some progress in the talks, but there are still remaining issues such as the removal of the sanctions on Iran and its verification needed to be discussed over before Iran return to full abidance by the 2015 nuclear deal, from which the United States withdrew in May 2018 and subsequent indifference of the European parties to make up for Iran's losses.

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