Iran's top negotiator said Tuesday that he is pushing to completely renegotiate a nuclear weapons deal between the U.S. and Iran.
Everything is on the table as world leaders meet this week in Vienna to discuss a pact that would impose limits on Iran's nuclear stockpile in return for the U.S. lifting economic sanctions, said the negotiator, Ali Bagheri.
"Nothing is agreed on unless everything has been agreed on," he told an Iranian news outlet. "As the Iranian negotiation team enjoys a serious will and practical readiness to reach an agreement, we are optimistic about the future ... [but] because we do not trust the other side, we are not too optimistic."
The U.S. is indirectly joining European leaders in Vienna to discuss a potential restart of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 pact between the two countries that curbed Iran's nuclear weapons stockpile and lifted strong economic sanctions against it. The pact was later scrapped by former President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE in 2018, who called it a "bad deal."
Iran has since resumed its operations of enriching uranium above 60 percent, which is close to the necessary threshold for the development of a nuclear weapon. The country has also shut out United Nations inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency, who want to inspect the nuclear facilities.
The elections of President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE in the U.S. and President Ebrahim Raisi in Iran have brought about a resurgence of the nuclear talks, but Iran has said it wants to see the U.S. lift all of roughly 1,500 existing sanctions in the new deal.
Not everyone is on board with the resumed negotiations; Republicans in the U.S. remain opposed, while neighboring Israel is stepping up its military presence and capabilities for a strike on an Iranian nuclear compound, calling the preparations a "Plan B" if the negotiations fail.
In a statement on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said "Iran deserves no rewards, no bargain deals and no sanctions relief in return for their brutality."
"I call upon our allies around the world: Do not give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail," Bennett said.