Richard Moore, MI6 chief, doubts Iran wants a nuclear deal

Richard Moore, MI6 chief, doubts Iran wants a nuclear deal

“I don’t think Iran’s supreme leader wants to do a deal,” MI6 chief Richard Moore told CNN’s Jim Sciutto during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, adding that he is “skeptical” of the supreme leader’s motives. “I think the deal is certainly on the table and the European powers and the administration here are very, very clear on that, and I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians on this matter will block it. But I don’t think the Iranians will.” “

Hopes of a return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action appear to be fading as President Joe Biden pushes for a deal amid pressure from Middle East allies to contain Iran. Biden said last week that diplomacy is the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that the United States will not allow it to obtain one. He also acknowledged that the United States “is not going to wait forever” for a response from Iranian leadership on a deal.

On Friday, a senior US official suggested there was still a chance the deal could be saved.

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested that Tehran remains interested in reaching a deal, noting that “they haven’t thrown the table yet” and “they haven’t walked away when they could have in these many months where The agreement has been finalized and is sitting there.”

Nuland said it is up to Iran — and ultimately Khamenei — to agree to the deal that has been on the table.

“It would get their oil back on the market. It would give them some relief from some of the sanctions that have come. But so far they have not chosen to go that route,” she told Sciutto at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday.

Nuland said that if Khamenei “doesn’t take the deal, of course we have to increase the pressure.” She did not elaborate on what this pressure would entail.

Talks between US and Iranian officials in Doha, Qatar, brokered by the EU last month regarding the deal ended without progress. After the talks, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani tweeted Iran presented “its operational ideas and proposals,” adding that Mora and Iran’s negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani “will stay in touch regarding the continuation of talks and the next phase.”

Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, echoed Biden’s sentiments on Tuesday, saying the likelihood of reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “diminishes by the day”. He also said that no deadline has been set for Tehran to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal, but that the window is “closing pretty quickly” and “at some point I think it will become obvious to everyone that the deal is no longer available. “

“If Iran wants to come back to the deal, as they say they will, there is a very simple way to do that, which is to accept the terms that, not the United States, but the European Union in its capacity as coordinator has signed up to us , has enlisted with the Iranians,” Malley told CNN’s Sara Sidner on “Amanpour,” adding that it made what they considered a “fair proposal.” “We are prepared to agree on that basis, we are waiting for Iran to say the same.”
In 2018, the US withdrew from the nuclear deal under then-President Donald Trump, who called it “flawed at the core”, and Iran has increasingly rejected restrictions on its nuclear program imposed by the deal.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood, Claire Calzonetti and Emmet Lyons contributed to this report.

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