Briefing the media on the JCPOA talks, a senior U.S. diplomat reiterated that “we only have a handful of weeks left to get a deal, after which point it will unfortunately be no longer possible to return to the JCPOA and to recapture the nonproliferation benefits that the deal provided for us… that’s one reason why… we’re entering into the endgame”. The official further noted that “we made progress narrowing down the list of differences to just the key priorities on all sides. And that’s why now is a time for political decisions. Now is the time for Iran to decide”. “It doesn’t mean that every detail of the negotiation has been resolved from our side, but we are prepared to make those tough choices”, the diplomat added, while highlighting: “We know that it is very possible that Iran chooses not to go down that path, and we are ready to deal with that contingency… that means more pressure – economic, diplomatic and otherwise”. He also restated that “we are negotiating on the release of the detainees separately from the JCPOA, but… it is very hard for us to imagine a return to the JCPOA while four innocent Americans are behind bars or are detained in Iran”.
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