Department Press Briefing – October 22, 2021 (Excerpts)

October 22, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel


QUESTION: Okay. Welcome back. Three real quick ones.

One, do you have anything to say about Rob Malley’s meetings with the E3 in Paris today, how they went, if you guys are getting closer to some kind of common position on the way forward with Vienna?


Thank you.

MR PRICE: Thanks, Matt. I very much appreciate the invitation to take the question, and I will gladly take you up on that.

To your other two questions, yes, Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley is currently in France. He – this is the conclusion of a visit that also took him to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. He’ll return to Washington in just a couple days.

In the Gulf, Special Envoy Malley met and discussed with our partners a range of concerns with Iran, including its activities in the region and our attempt to negotiate a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Following those consultations, the special envoy traveled to Paris. He met with his E3 counterparts there. He also met with his GCC counterparts.

I don’t want to get into the details of diplomatic discussions, but suffice to say that the United States, the E3, the broader P5+1, is united in the belief that diplomacy continues to provide the most effective pathway to verifiably and permanently prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and we are united in the belief that negotiations should resume in Vienna as soon as possible and that they should resume precisely where they left off after the sixth round.


QUESTION: Hey there. Sorry about that, Ned. The – can I just follow up on a couple of my colleagues’ questions? Further to Matt’s question on Rob Malley’s meetings, he also met with a senior South Korean official, Mr. Choi. I was wondering if you have anything to say about that. Is there any – are we any closer to a resolution on what Iran wants with the unfreezing of assets there?


MR PRICE: Thanks, Shaun. So as you know, Special Envoy Malley routinely meets with our allies and partners around the world as we have sought to test the proposition that we can affect the mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. As part of that, he has met on a number of occasions with his South Korean counterpart. Our South Korean allies are important across a range of fronts, and that includes with Iran. That includes with the enforcement of the sanctions regime that continues to be in place and will continue to be in place on Iran unless and until there is a negotiated return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. So his discussion with his South Korean counterpart is just the latest in a series of engagements that Special Envoy Malley has held on Iran with our South Korean allies.