'No cause for optimism' on Iran nuclear deal: Blinken
STOCKHOLM, Dec 3: The United States appeared Thursday to play down the possibility of reviving a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, even as Tehran tabled draft proposals following the resumption of talks in Vienna.
"We're going to know very, very quickly, I think in the next day or two, whether Iran is serious or not," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Stockholm on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
"In the very near future, the next day or so, we will be in a position to judge whether Iran actually intends now to engage in good faith." But he cautioned: "I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don't give us a lot of cause for optimism."
Negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal were suspended Friday so that European diplomats can review proposals by the Islamic republic, state media said. The talks would "most likely" resume on Monday but the negotiating teams would need to remain in the Austrian capital to continue their work, the semi-official ISNA news agency said.
In a phone call with Blinken on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had called for the "immediate cessation" of talks, which resumed on Monday. -AFP