“We’ve made progress over the course of the last several weeks. There are still some issues left,” Sulllivan told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Joe Biden flew to Brussels.
He added it is “unclear if this will come to closure or not” but the allies are trying to use diplomacy to put Iran’s nuclear program “back in a box.”
On Wednesday, Iran’s foreign minister said it is up to the Americans to decide whether they want to act realistically so as to help finalize an agreement on the restoration of a US-abandoned agreement in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
“If the American side acts realistically, we are ready to finalize an agreement in the near future in the presence of the foreign ministers of the member states of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Amir Abdollahian added.
The Vienna talks began almost a year ago with the aim of bringing the US into full compliance with the JCPOA, commonly known as the Iran deal. The US left the JCPOA in 2018 under former president Donald Trump and re-imposed the sanctions that the deal had lifted.
The administration of Joe Biden has rebuked Trump’s withdrawal from the accord and insisted on re-entering the deal, all while dragging the talks via its failure to provide Iran with guarantees that Washington will not exit the JCPOA again.
Throughout the talks, Iran has pressed the US for the guarantees as well as the establishment of a verification mechanism on the removal of sanctions.
“We have explicitly stated to the American side that we will not [abandon] our red lines,” Amir Abdollahian stated.
However, he voiced optimism about the prospects of reaching a deal.
“We believe that today, more than ever, we are closer to reaching and finalizing an agreement in Vienna,” he continued, noting, “We offered our last proposals to the US through the EU coordinator to reach a definite point on [finalizing] the agreement.”
Price said on Monday that “an agreement is neither imminent nor is it certain.”
Repeating those words on Tuesday, Price added that “we’ve always discussed – or we’ve long discussed, I should say – alternatives with our partners in the region.”
He also stated “the onus is on Tehran to make decisions” on reviving the JCPOA.
Likewise, Iran has blamed the US for the protraction of the talks, urging Washington to make the necessary “political decisions” to finalize a deal.