The United States is ready to consider all options for how it would deal with a world in which Iran were not willing to return to the constraints of the 2015 nuclear deal, US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said on Wednesday.
“We will be prepared to adjust to a different reality in which we have to deal with all options to address Iran’s nuclear program if it’s not prepared to come back into the constraints,” of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers,” he said in a virtual appearance at a Washington think tank.
In rare public remarks, Malley adopted a more coercive rhetorical stance toward Tehran if it were unwilling to resume compliance with the deal, under which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment program — which is a possible pathway to fissile material for a weapon — in return for sanctions relief.
Among other things, Malley said the United States and Israel, which has previously struck both Iraqi and Syrian nuclear sites, are united in their opposition to Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and he spoke of enforcing US sanctions designed to prevent Iran from selling its oil abroad.
Rob Malley, who led indirect talks with Iran earlier this year, said that President Joe Biden’s administration still felt it was best to return to the deal that was trashed by former president Donald Trump.
“We feel like coming back would still be the best outcome but we’re realistic,” Malley said at an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“We know that there’s at least a good possibility that Iran is going to choose a different path and we need to coordinate with Israel and with our other partners in the region,” Malley said.
The foreign ministers of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which established relations last year, were meeting jointly on Wednesday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“There is every possibility that Iran will choose a different path, and we need to coordinate with Israel and other partners in the region. I will be traveling to Saudi Arabia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), and Qatar in just a matter of days to talk about efforts to come back to (the nuclear deal) and what options we have to control Iran’s nuclear program if we can’t
achieve that goal,” Malley said.