Today a split-screen emerged over Iran policy, as EU envoy Enrique Mora prepared to travel to Iran on Thursday in a bid to revive the stalemated nuclear talks.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed sent an ominous message that other options remained on the table if Tehran didn’t return to the Iran nuclear deal soon.
Iran left the Vienna talks with world powers in June as a new hardliner president, Ebrahim Raisi was elected, saying that it needed time to form a government. But more than two months after he took office, Tehran has still not specified a date for resuming the talks.
In a tweet, Mora wrote that he is “travelling to Tehran where I will meet with my counterpart at a critical point in time. As coordinator of the JCPOA (or Iran nuclear deal), I will raise the urgency to resume JCPOA negotiations in Vienna. Crucial to pick up talks from where we left last June to continue diplomatic work.”
E3 diplomats issued a slightly more aggressive statement, saying “the nuclear situation has worsened continuously and seriously. This therefore is from our E3 point of view not a ‘business as usual’ [visit] but a visit in [the] context of a deep crisis in the JCPOA.”
Meanwhile in Washington, Blinken alluded to Plan B planning underway at a joint press conference with his Israeli and Emirati counterparts.
He said, “we will look at every option to deal with the challenge posed by Iran.” “We are prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn’t change course. Time is running short,” he added. “If the Iranians don't believe the world is serious about stopping them, they will race to the bomb. Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment in any given way,” Lapid warned.
US Special Envoy for Iran, Rob Malley also alluded to “other options” in an interview with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. However, he had a more mixed message as he said there has been too much focus on the issue of a date for the resumption of the nuclear talks.