United States Iranian envoy Rob Malley said Monday that the current situation with Iran is making the pursuit of reinstating a nuclear deal a "waste of our time."
"It is not on our agenda. We are not going to focus on something which is inert when other things are happening," Axios reported Malley saying Monday regarding the stalled talks to re-enter the 2015 deal made during the administration of former President Barack Obama, and then reversed under former President Donald Trump. "We are not going to waste our time on it if Iran has taken the position it has taken."
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed on by Iran with the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, in July 2015, was an agreement to ensure Iran's nuclear program remained strictly peaceful, according to the U.S. State Department.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in May 2018, saying it failed to meet the national security interests of the United States.
"The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into," Trump said at the time.
President Joe Biden, however, started talks with Iran, through Russian intermediaries, to re-enter the deal, but those talks have stalled.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the White House is facing "growing pressure" to sink the deal and end the talks in the wake of Iran's tough crackdown on a women-led protest, and efforts to supply Russia with drones to help in its war with Ukraine.
"I think people have to understand that they were not tying our hands because of ... this hope that someday maybe there'll be a deal," the Post reported Malley saying during an appearance at a virtual event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank. "No, we are taking action. We're not waiting. We're taking the action that we think is consistent and necessary to promote our values and our national security interests."
According to the Post, the Human Rights Activists group in Iran said as many as 270 people are believed to be dead, and another 14,000 arrested in the continuing demonstrations.
In addition, the administration is not happy with reports saying Iranian troops are "directly engaged" on the ground in Crimea to aid in drone attacks on Ukraine, providing technical assistance for the "hundreds" of drones it sold to Russia, the report said.
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