US 'closer than ever' to admitting failure in Iran nuclear deal talks: Israeli media
The United States is closer than ever to admitting its failure in reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.
"US administration officials are closer than ever to admitting defeat on US President Joe Biden’s goal to return to the 2015 deal," The Times of Israel said, citing previous reports from Israel Hayom and the Israeli state-owned Kan broadcaster.
The news came despite positive signs in previous months that Iran and world powers were inching closer to an agreement.
The main hurdle reportedly lies in Iran’s insistence that Washington remove its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] from the US list of terrorist organisations.
It was designated a terror group by former president Donald Trump in 2019, a year after he unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal. It was the first time a US administration had formally labelled a formal military organisation from another nation as a terrorist group.
A US State Department spokesperson said last week that Iran must address Washington’s concerns if it wanted sanctions relief beyond that of the 2015 deal, in an apparent reference to delisting the IRGC.
"The possibility that the parties will sign an agreement in the foreseeable future is dwindling at an exponential rate," an official told Israel Hayom.
The White House "is much more willing these days, then it was in the past" to admit the talks are likely to fail, another source also told Kan.
Israel has previously stated that it will not be tied to any possible US-Iran agreement, and will take all necessary measures to counter Iranian threats.
Iran denies that it intends to build a nuclear bomb, and says that its nuclear program is rather for peaceful energy purposes.
"I am sure that President Biden, who is a true friend of Israel and cares about its security, will not allow the IRGC to be removed from the list of terrorist organisations," Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement after a call with Biden on Sunday, according to Axios.
"Israel has clarified its position on the issue: The IRGC is the largest terrorist organisation in the world,” he was quoted as saying.