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U.S. special envoy to Iran Robert Malley appeared skeptical on Sunday about the prospects of a new nuclear deal being reached any time soon.
“I can’t be confident it’s imminent,” Malley said at the Doha Forum in Qatar. “It’s not just around the corner and it’s not inevitable.”
The remarks stood in contrast to Sayyid Kamal Kharrazi, a foreign policy advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, who said at the Doha Forum that a new deal is “imminent,” but concerns remained over the U.S. labeling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
“A national army cannot be listed as a terrorist group,” Kharrazi said Sunday. “That is very important for Iranians to have the IRGC removed from the list.”
Former President Trump designated the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization in 2019, one year after he pulled the U.S. out of the original nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION MAY ALLOW RUSSIA TO BUY IRAN’S EXCESS ENRICHED URANIUM UNDER NEW NUCLEAR DEAL
The Biden administration has been working to restore the deal for months, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 threw the negotiations off track.
Russia demanded that their trade with Iran be unaffected by Western sanctions over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested recently that those concerns had been overcome.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier this week that it would be “practical” for Russia to play the same role that it did in the JCPOA prior to the decision to withdraw from it.”
STATE DEPT SAYS IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL WILL NOT BE AN ‘ESCAPE HATCH’ FOR RUSSIAN SANCTIONS
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the U.S. will deter Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon regardless of whether the nuclear deal is restored.
“There is no daylight between us on the fundamental proposition that Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Blinken said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “Whether there is a return to the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear agreement, or not, that principle will not change nor will our commitment to it.”
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Israel opposed the original nuclear deal and welcomed the U.S.’s withdrawal from it.
Top diplomats from Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt were also present in Israel on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/world/united-states-envoy-iran-cant-be-confident-new-nuclear-deal-imminent