Richard Moore, head of MI6, doubts Iran wants nuclear deal

“I don’t think the Supreme Leader of Iran wants to make a deal,” Richard Moore, head of MI6, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto during an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, adding that he was “skeptical” about the actions of the Supreme Leader. motives. “I think a deal is absolutely 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 Russians on this issue will block it. I think the Iranians want it.”

Hopes for a return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action appear to be fading as President Joe Biden pushes for an agreement amid pressure from Middle East allies to contain Iran. Biden said last week that diplomacy is the best way to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons and that the US will not let the country get them. He also acknowledged that the US “is not going to wait forever” for the Iranian leadership’s response to the agreement.

On Friday, a senior US official suggested there was still a chance to save the deal.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested that Tehran remains interested in reaching an agreement, noting that “they haven’t left the table yet” and “haven’t left when they could have done so in these many months.” where the deal was ready and sitting there.”

Nuland said that Iran – and ultimately Khamenei – must agree to the deal that was on the table.

“It will bring their oil back to the market. This will bring them some relief from some of the sanctions that have been imposed. But they haven’t chosen this path yet,” she told Shutto in Aspen. Security Forum on Friday.

Nuland said that if Khamenei “doesn’t agree to the deal, we will of course have to increase the pressure.” She didn’t go into the details of what that pressure would entail.

Talks between US and Iranian officials in Doha, Qatar, mediated by the European Union last month regarding a deal. ended without progress. After the talks, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Qani tweeted that Iran had presented “its operational ideas and proposals”, adding that Mora and Iran’s negotiator Ali Bagheri Qani “will be in touch regarding the continuation of negotiations and the next phase.”

Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, echoed Biden’s sentiment on Tuesday and said the likelihood of a revival of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is “decreasing every day.” He also said there was no time frame for Tehran to return to compliance with the nuclear deal, but the window was “closing fairly quickly” and “at some point, I think it will become clear to everyone that the deal is no longer available.” .

“If Iran wants to go back to the deal, which they say they want to do, there is a very simple way to do this – to agree to terms where not the United States, but the European Union, as a coordinator, signed up with us, signed up with the Iranians,” Mally said Sarah Sidner of CNN on “Amanpour”, adding that they made what they consider a “fair offer”. “We are ready to agree on this basis, we are waiting for Iran to say the same.”
In 2018 US pulls out of nuclear deal under then-President Donald Trump, who called it “inherently flawed,” and Iran increasingly rejects the restrictions on its nuclear program imposed by the deal.

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