Won’t allow Iran to ‘slow walk’
The United States warned Saturday it would not allow Iran to "slow walk" international negotiations over its nuclear program while at the same time ramping up its atomic activities -- but stopped short of slamming the door on talks.
The warning came a day after Washington hit out at Iran, saying talks with world powers had stalled because Tehran "does not seem to be serious."
"Iran did not show the posture of a country that is seriously thinking of a rapid return" to the 2015 accord aimed at putting curbs on its nuclear program, said a senior US administration official, speaking after returning from the Austrian capital where talks resumed last week.
"We can't accept a situation in which Iran accelerates its nuclear program and slow walks its nuclear diplomacy," said the official -- echoing a recent warning by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and also reflecting concerns voiced by some of the Europeans taking part in the talks.
The seventh round of nuclear talks ended Friday after five days in Vienna, with delegations returning to their national capitals and expected to go back to Austria next week.
Iran had paused the talks in June following the election of ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi.
The official argued that the United States had shown patience in allowing a five-month break in the process, but that during that time the Iranians were "continuing to accelerate their nuclear program in particularly provocative ways."