US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting of the G7 foreign ministers summit in Liverpool, north-west England on Dec 10, 2021. (AFP)

January 26, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that there are only “a few weeks left” for the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna as they near the end of the road.

The potential failure of diplomacy will prompt Western countries to return the Iranian nuclear file to the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York, where several tools are available, including the “snapback” procedure to automatically re-impose international sanctions, a Western diplomat who requested anonymity told Asharq Al-Awsat.

However, bringing back the issue to the UNSC will not happen immediately, the diplomat cautioned.

“If the Iranian escalation continues, and there is no progress in the Vienna talks, we will have to have UNSC talks,” they explained, confirming that snapback sanctions were on the table.

Despite being an option, such sanctions will not be used hastily nor as a last resort, the diplomat added.

As for recent attacks by Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, meant to expand Tehran’s leverage at the Vienna talks, the diplomat slammed them as destabilizing but said that nuclear negotiations were a different file.

“It’s a problem for us that Iran is destabilizing the region through proxies, whether it’s in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, or anywhere else, but we have traditionally kept the nuclear issue separate,” said the diplomat.

“We have a fundamental opposition to Iran getting two levels of enrichment and bomb-making capabilities,” he added.

He pointed out that after two months of talks in Vienna, the United States, Britain, France and Germany confirmed that “time is running out.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.