“What we’re seeing is there is significant progress being made, and we are close to a possible deal. But there are a number of very difficult issues that remain unresolved,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
“And there’s very little time remaining to reach a deal given the pace of Iran’s nuclear advances,” she added.
Tehran, Moscow and Beijing have pushed back on the need to establish a fixed deadline for the nuclear negotiations to conclude. Iranian officials have rejected western diplomats’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement in Vienna talks, and stressed Tehran is only after a good agreement.
“Also, I would note that typically the most difficult components — the last mile — is where it — where there is the most difficult conversations and negotiations,” Psaki noted, adding, “So, yes, significant progress and we are close. But there’s a lot that still needs to be worked out.”
“We believe if Iran shows seriousness, we can and should reach an understanding on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA within — potentially within days. But there is still more work that needs to be done,” she said.
Iran’s chief negotiator in the talks in Vienna has stated that decisions should be made by the western parties to the negotiations before they lead to an agreement.
“Being near the finish line is no guarantee one crosses it,” Ali Baqeri Kani said in a tweet.
“It requires extra caution, much perseverance, additional creativity and a balanced approach to take the last step. To finish the job, there are certain decisions that our Western interlocutors need to take,” he added.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian has also noted Tehran and the P4+1 group of countries have never been this close to reaching a good agreement since they started talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Chritian Amanpour in Munich, Amir Abdollahian said Iran is optimistic about reaching an agreement in Vienna because the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi has a strong will to achieve a good deal.
He added in order to get close to a good agreement, the Iranian team showed good initiatives and flexibility, but now it’s the Western side including the US and the European troika that should show flexibility and initiatives.