US Threatens Additional Measures Against Iran if Diplomacy Fails

© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueU.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 16, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.12.2021
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The development comes as last week US diplomats walked out of discussions to re-enter the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran, stating that the Tehran delegation's demand for a return to the accord's original parameters was not "serious" and accusing it of "walking back" concessions made by its former president.
The US is exploring various additional measures available against Iran with its partners, including Israel, if diplomatic efforts to resuscitate the 2015 nuclear deal fail, State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a press briefing on Thursday.

"I wouldn’t want to speak to contingency planning, I wouldn’t want to speak to what we might be contemplating if the path for diplomacy towards a mutual return to compliance isn’t viable in the near term but we are discussing those alternatives, we are discussing those options with our close partners, with our close allies and that includes with the Israelis," Price said.

Price added that judging whether Iran is demonstrating flexibility in negotiations regarding Tehran and Washington resuming compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal may take a few days, per a Reuters report.
The spokesman added that it "will probably be another couple of days" before the US sees "where the Iranians are in the context of the restart of this round" and the "flexibility that they may or may not be willing to show."
Moreover, when asked by a reporter whether Iran's purported stance in the talks was aimed to exploit US weakness, Price assured that if Iran perceives any weakness by the US, "they will be sorely surprised."
Also on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that due to the "ongoing advances in Iran's nuclear program," Biden ordered his team to "be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options."
According to Psaki, "if diplomacy cannot get on track soon and if Iran's nuclear program continues to accelerate, then we will have no choice but to take additional measures to further restrict Iran's revenue-producing sectors."
Earlier, several reports alleged that the US and Israeli defense ministers could discuss launching joint military drills geared at preparing to counter Iran.
Iran nuclear talks enter day five - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.12.2021
Iran Blames US Stubbornness on Sanctions for Breakdown of Vienna Nuke Talks
From the other side's perspective, Iran has blamed the breakdown in last week's round of nuclear deal talks in Vienna on Washington's refusal to lift sanctions in return for compliance.
According to Iranian media reports, the issue is with the US delegation's insistence on keeping some sanctions in place even if Tehran curbs its uranium enrichment.
In May 2018, the US withdrew from the 2015 JCPOA and has since applied tough tactics against Iran, pushing the latter to mainly disregard its own obligations under the agreement.
Since April, Vienna has hosted discussions aimed at avoiding a total failure of the Iran nuclear deal. Both Tehran and Washington stated in October that they were ready to restart discussions as soon as possible. The seventh round of talks began on November 29 and was interrupted at the initiative of the American side on December 3. Negotiations continued on Thursday, December 9.
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