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Top Biden envoy says efforts to revive nuclear deal could be exhausted within 'weeks'

President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 over concerns Iran was not keeping its end.

Published: December 23, 2021 9:49am

Updated: December 23, 2021 10:29am

National Security Advisor of the United States Jake Sullivan says nuclear diplomacy talks with Iran could be exhausted within "weeks."

"We're not circling a date on the calendar in public, but I can tell you that behind closed doors we are talking about time frames and they are not long," he told reporters during a visit to Israel," Sullivan said Wednesday, according to Reuters

When asked to elaborate on the timeline, Sullivan said, "Weeks."

The Biden administration and other world leaders have been negotiating for months in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal in which the country agreed to curb its nuclear weapons development in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. President Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 over concerns Iran was not keeping its end.  

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, saying it only wants to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Israel has long hinted that if it thinks diplomacy has hit a dead end, it could resort to pre-emptive strikes against its sworn enemy Iran, the wire service also reports.

However, security experts have raised doubts about whether Israel has the military capability to effectively halt Iran's program on its own or if the U.S. would support such an effort.

Sullivan said the United States continues to believe that "diplomacy, deterrence and pressure" remain the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

He was recently sent by President Biden to Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories to updated Ieaders on the Vienna talks, also according to the wire service.

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