Even if the nuclear agreement cannot be revived, Robert Malley admitted the possibility of further diplomatic efforts in this direction.

Efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran are in a “critical phase,” U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley said on Monday, allowing for the possibility of further diplomatic efforts even if the deal cannot be revived.

As Malley told reporters, Washington is concerned that Tehran will continue to postpone the resumption of negotiations. At the same time, he noted that the United States has other tools to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and they use them if necessary.

“We are in a critical phase of efforts aimed at reviving the JCPOA,” Malley said. –We had a break for several months, and the official reasons given by Iran for this break are very unconvincing.”

Noting that the window for the resumption of compliance with the agreement by both the United States and Iran will eventually close, Malley stressed that Washington is ready to conduct further diplomatic negotiations with Iran, even if other options are considered to prevent Tehran from creating a nuclear bomb.

Malley also hinted at the economic benefits that could result from Iran’s return to the agreement, under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions from the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.

In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the pact and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran. About a year later, Iran began violating some provisions of the agreement, including restrictions on uranium enrichment.

Noting that the possibility of a return to the JCPOA will not last forever because eventually, Iran’s achievements in the nuclear sphere will leave the agreement behind, Malley said that Washington would continue to strive for diplomatic agreements with Tehran.

“It is impossible to revive a corpse–” he said, stressing that so far, there is no need to talk about such a thing. –We will continue to carry out diplomatic efforts, even if we take other steps.”

Malley declined to specify exactly what steps are being discussed.

Malley, who last week advised American partners in the Persian Gulf and Europe, stressed that all sides “give preference to diplomacy and efforts to revive the JCPOA, and if this happens, then to search for ways of economic interaction with Iran.”