US will know if Iran is serious in nuclear talks 'in the near future' - Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he discussed Iran in meetings with his counterparts from Russia and Israel on Thursday.

Flags from Iran and the United States  at the California Convention for a Free Iran, Los Angeles, US, January 11, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/PATRICK T. FALLON)
Flags from Iran and the United States at the California Convention for a Free Iran, Los Angeles, US, January 11, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/PATRICK T. FALLON)

The United States said on Thursday it had little cause for optimism about reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and would know in a day or so if Iran would negotiate in good faith as Tehran put forward fresh proposals.

"I think, in the very near future, the next day or so, we'll be in a position to judge whether Iran actually intends now to engage in good faith," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Stockholm.

"I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don't give us a lot of cause for ... optimism. But even though the hour is getting very late, it is not too late for Iran to reverse course and engage meaningfully," he added.

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday he was not optimistic about the will and intentions of the United States and European powers in talks being held in Vienna to rescue a 2015 nuclear accord, Iranian media reported.

"We went to Vienna with serious determination, but we are not optimistic about the will and the intention of‫the United States and the three European parties to the deal," Amirabdollahian was quoted by Iranian media as saying in a telephone conversation with his Japanese counterpart.

Speaking to reporters in Sweden, where he attended meetings of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Blinken said he discussed Iran in meetings with his counterparts from Russia and Israel on Thursday.

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Stockholm, Sweden (credit: VIA REUTERS) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Stockholm, Sweden (credit: VIA REUTERS)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said Ukraine is in no way posing a threat to or seeking a confrontation that justifies a Russian military intervention and that it is now on Russia to de-escalate.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting on Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Blinken said the United States is prepared to work with Russia and Ukraine to support a diplomatic process resolution.

He added that US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin may have an opportunity to speak directly in the near future.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday that Moscow would respond if Ukraine gets drawn into any US "geopolitical games," the Interfax news agency cited Russia's foreign ministry as saying.

Lavrov told Blinken at talks in Stockholm that Russia and the United States needed to agree on long-term security guarantees, the foreign ministry was quoted as saying.