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US official denies interim Iran deal in the works

The United States has conveyed to Iran what steps it can take to "create a more positive context," according to the official.

The foreign ministers of Germany, the United Kingdom, China, the United States, France, Russia, the European Union and Iran meet in Geneva on Nov. 24, 2013 for talks on the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. Credit: U.S. Department of State.
The foreign ministers of Germany, the United Kingdom, China, the United States, France, Russia, the European Union and Iran meet in Geneva on Nov. 24, 2013 for talks on the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

Washington is not nearing an interim nuclear deal with Iran, but has relayed to Tehran steps it could take to build confidence, according to a U.S. official.

“We have made clear to them what escalatory steps they needed to avoid to prevent a crisis and what de-escalatory steps they could take to create a more positive context,” the unnamed official said on Monday, according to Reuters.

Washington wants greater Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the official added.

Last week, the U.S. flatly denied reports that it was close to an interim deal with Iran, referring to them as “false and misleading.”

The official on Monday reiterated that “there are no talks about an interim deal,” contradicting reports last week that American and Iranian officials held such talks in Oman in May

However, the official continued, the United States has made clear it still favors diplomacy to counter “Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region” and “nuclear escalation,” as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a June 8 press conference in Riyadh.

Israel holds that the most effective way to stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions is with a credible military threat and the understanding that it will pay a steep price if it crosses red lines.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said during the AJC Global Forum  in Tel Aviv on Sunday that Israel speaks with one voice on the Iran issue, “telling the American administration: ‘Do not sign a bad deal.’ ”

In 2018, then-U.S. President Donald Trump left the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and world powers, calling it “a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”

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