US sends tough message to Iran

Monday, 2021-11-22 08:45:56
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US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO – Though the US has emphasised the pursuit of a diplomatic path to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, it still warns that it will “look at all the options necessary to keep the United States secure”. The tough message has just been delivered by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain.

At the annual dialogue on regional security, held on November 20, Secretary Austin reiterated the US’position on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The tough message was intended to reassure allies in the Gulf, amid strained US-Iranian relations,ahead of talks to revive the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, a series of incidents have escalated tensions in US-Iran relations and in the region in general. The US accused Iran of being behind a series of drone and mine attacks on ships at sea, as well as attacks by Iranian proxy forces against US bases and interests in Iraq and Syria.

The “tit-for-tat” moves between the two sides have hampered negotiations despite the administration of US President Joe Biden having announced efforts to bring the US back to the nuclear deal with Iran.

The seventh round of negotiations between major powers with Iran is scheduled to take place on November 29 in Vienna, Austria, in which the US will participate indirectly. However, right before the dialogue, Iran-US relations continue to witness confrontational moves.

Both the US and its Western allies expressed scepticism about Iran's willingness to negotiate after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report on Iran’s continued increase in enriched uranium. The US envoy for Iran has warned that Tehran was approaching the point of no return for reviving a nuclear deal. France called on the IAEA Board of Governors to act to push Iran to fully comply with its commitments of the JCPOA.

Meanwhile, Iran continued to strongly criticise the US sanctions against Iranian organisations and individuals. Iran also denounced a plot to “politicise” the IAEA - the United Nations atomic watchdog.

It is very difficult for the parties to agree on a schedule for a new round of talks on the Iran nuclear issue. The international community has urged relevant parties to show a cooperative attitude, avoid confrontation, to bring the US back to the JCPOA and ensure that Iran fully complies with its commitments in the agreement. This historic document is seen as an important factor in maintaining peace and security in the region.

Translated by NDO