Despite optimistic takes from Russia and Iran over the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna, the US said Tuesday that it was still too early to describe progress and condemned Tehran for continuing to “drag its feet.”
“The last couple rounds also started with new nuclear provocations and then were characterized by, in some cases, vague, unrealistic, unconstructive positions on the part of Iran,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters during a phone briefing.
Adding that there had been “some progress” in recent weeks, he said the fundamental solution remained unchanged.
“Iran has, at best, been dragging its feet in the talks while accelerating its nuclear escalation. We’ve been very clear that that won’t work. Iran needs exercise restraint in its nuclear program and adds real urgency in Vienna,” Price said.
The eighth round of indirect talks between Washington and Tehran started on Monday, with Rob Malley leading the US delegation.
Earlier Tuesday, Russia and Iran said there had been some progress and positivity during the latest round.
But Price said it was still too early to describe the talks.
The US still believes that the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is by returning the 2015 deal, Price said.
If Iran does not demonstrate seriousness in negotiating a return to compliance with the now-defunct deal, Price said the US was prepared to pursue alternatives with its regional partners and allies.