Think tank exec: Iranians won't talk further until US rejoins nuclear deal

Georgetown professor and executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft think tank, Trita Parsi, said Monday he believes Iran will not go further with nuclear talks with the U.S. until Washington commits to rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Appearing on Hill.TV's "Rising," Parsi gave his assessment of what Iranian officials are attempting to achieve, with Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif recently saying the onus was on the U.S. to revive the Obama-era nuclear deal.

The U.S. has called for Tehran to return to the terms of the JCPOA before sanctions are rolled back, but Iran has publicly insisted that the sanctions end first.

"I think what is happening is that the Iranians are saying they're not going to talk about anything else until the U.S. has rejoined the deal," Parsi said. "And then once the U.S. has rejoined the deal and there is a different administration in Iran, because they're having their elections in roughly four weeks or so, that's when we can really investigate whether the Iranians are open or not to such negotiations."

Parsi said judging the state of negotiations at this time is "misguided" because the U.S. has not reentered the nuclear deal and Iran has made it clear it will not consider expanding the agenda until the U.S. meets its obligations under the deal.

However, he said it appears both sides are "serious" about reentering the deal.

"I think they have managed to overcome some of the toughest issues. Some issues obviously remain, it's part of the negotiations," Parsi said. "It's a tricky negotiation because they're actually not talking to each other directly. They're talking to each other through the Europeans."