US ready to make ‘tough decisions’ to revive Iran nuclear deal, official says


Staff member
US ready to make ‘tough decisions’ to revive Iran nuclear deal, official says
Comments come amid profound public concern by Israel’s leaders over reports Washington willing to delist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terror group under renewed accord
By Jacob Magid and TOI staff
19 March 2022

Amid pressure from Israel over the reported possibility that Washington could remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its terror blacklist, a State Department official told The Times of Israel on Saturday that the US was ready to make “difficult decisions” in order to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. Reports in recent days have indicated that Iran is demanding the IRGC designation be removed as a condition to its return to the 2015 accord. Former US president Donald Trump added the Guards to the blacklist in 2019, in what was seen as a largely symbolic move. Nonetheless, its potential removal has deeply discomfited Israeli leaders.

“We are not negotiating in public and are not going to respond to specific claims about what sanctions we would be prepared to lift as part of a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” the State Department official said, using the official acronym for the nuclear deal. But, he said, “We are prepared to make difficult decisions to return Iran’s nuclear program to JCPOA limits. An unrestricted Iranian nuclear program has led to an escalating nuclear crisis and to greatly increased threats to US citizens, interests, and partners in the region.” His comments came after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, in an unusually detailed and emotive statement, urged the US not to delist the IRGC as a terror organization on Friday.