The White House stressed that it is focused on advancing the diplomatic path.
The United States believes that the process of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program will be long but sees its resumption on April 15 in Vienna as a positive sign. This was stated on Wednesday at a briefing by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
She was asked to comment on the statements of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that Tehran’s enrichment of uranium to 60% was a response to the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility attributed to Israel. When asked whether the US administration called on the Israeli side to refrain from actions that could undermine the negotiations, the spokeswoman said: “I can [only] confirm that we do not have any additional assumptions about the reasons for the attack.”
“We are focused on advancing the diplomatic path. Diplomatic negotiations – indirect will resume tomorrow [April 15] in Vienna,” she continued. – We know that it will be a long process. But we certainly see this as a positive sign.”
“We have no information that would indicate that they [the Iranians] do not plan to attend [these talks]. More precisely, let me put it more positively: our understanding is that they plan to be present tomorrow [at the talks in Vienna],” Psaki said, answering a clarifying question.
The incident at the Natanz nuclear facility occurred on April 11. The Iranian side informed that an accident in the power distribution network was recorded at the facility, which led to an explosion. There are no victims and no environmental pollution. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, called the incident “a manifestation of nuclear terrorism.” The New York Times newspaper, citing sources, reported that the accident in Natanz occurred due to an explosion organized by the Israeli side. After that, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Israel was involved in the incident.
Last week, Vienna hosted the first face-to-face meeting of the Joint Commission of Iran and the five other participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA): Russia, China, Germany, Great Britain, and France. The meeting participants at the level of political directors discussed the issues of returning to full compliance with the provisions of the nuclear deal. The purpose of the meeting was to determine the tasks for the further work of two expert groups: lifting US sanctions against Iran and implementing Tehran’s obligations in the nuclear sphere.