The Biden administration is close to conceding that the talks for a renewed nuclear deal with Iran have permanently failed, Israeli officials say.
The White House is reportedly “much more willing” to announce defeat “than it was in the past,” according to the Kan public broadcaster.
Talks between Iran and Western world powers have been stalled for six weeks, reportedly over Tehran’s demand that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.
“The possibility that the parties will sign an agreement in the foreseeable future is dwindling at an exponential rate,” an official reportedly told the Israel Hayom newspaper.
According to an Axios report on Monday, the Biden administration “has recently started discussing a scenario” where a deal will not be reached.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with President Joe Biden via phone on Sunday and urged him not to delist the IRGC.
“Israel has clarified its position on the issue: The IRGC is the largest terrorist organization in the world,” Bennett’s office said in a statement.
On Monday, Iran called for a new face-to-face meeting in Vienna “as soon as possible.”
“It is not yet decided where and when to have this meeting and at what level it should be held, but it is on the agenda,” Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at his weekly press conference. “It is clear that if the U.S. had given the right answers to the remaining issues … everyone would have been in Vienna by now.”
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata on Monday in Washington, The Times of Israel reports.
Sullivan reportedly told Hulata that “the United States is attuned to Israel’s concerns about threats to its security, including first and foremost from Iran and Iranian-backed proxies.”
The 2015 deal gave Iran economic sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions meant to guarantee that Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon.
Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the accord in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions, prompting Iran to begin reneging on its own commitments.
The Vienna talks, which began a year ago, seek to return the United States to the nuclear deal, including the lifting of sanctions on Iran, and ensuring Tehran’s full compliance.
For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Galatians 2:19-20 World English Bible)