search

US ‘alarmed’ at Iran’s nuclear progress, deal may become ‘a thing of the past’ — envoy

Robert Malley, US Special Envoy for Iran, is shown in Vienna, Austria, June 20, 2021. (Florian Schroetter/AP)
Robert Malley, US Special Envoy for Iran, is shown in Vienna, Austria, June 20, 2021. (Florian Schroetter/AP)

The United States and other Western powers are “alarmed” at Iran’s progress toward nuclear capabilities, Washington’s Iran envoy Robert Malley tells NPR radio in an interview.

“They’re much closer to having fissile material for a bomb,” Malley warns. “To our knowledge, they have not resumed their weaponization program, which is what they would need to develop the bomb. But we are of course alarmed, as are our partners, at the progress they’ve made in the enrichment field.”

He adds that Iran now has enough uranium to build a bomb within weeks, if it so chooses, adding that if that happened, the US would know and respond forcefully.

Malley describes as a “wasted occasion” recent talks in Qatar on reinstating a nuclear deal resembling the 2015 agreement, which aimed to curb Tehran’s nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief. Former US president Donald Trump withdrew from that deal.

He says Iran has “added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal, things that they’ve wanted in the past, that clearly us and Europeans and others have said, ‘That’s not part of this negotiation.'”

“The discussion that really needs to take place right now is not so much between us and Iran, although we’re prepared to have that. It’s between Iran and itself. They need to come to a conclusion about whether they are now prepared to come back into compliance with the deal,” he says.

“They’re going to have to decide sooner or later, because at some point, the deal will be a thing of the past.”

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed