A U.S. diplomatic spokesperson maintained that “Iran’s nuclear program has been galloping ahead since the previous administration left the nuclear deal in 2018… it is fair to say that this is a crisis that we inherited”. He further highlighted that the JCPOA “set forth in verifiable and permanent terms restrictions that would permanently prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon… That remains our ultimate objective, to see Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon once again permanently and verifiably blocked”. The following day U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted that “we have seen willingness of all sides, including the Iranians, to talk seriously about sanctions relief and nuclear restrictions, and a pathway back into the JCPOA. But it is still unclear whether this will culminate in a deal in Vienna in the coming weeks”. He further emphasised that “this is not just one side or the other giving the runaround. It is a real negotiation, albeit an indirect negotiation”.
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