Washington: US President Joe Biden seems increasingly determined to keep the “terrorist” designation on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which Tehran is demanding be removed before it returns to a deal on curbing its nuclear programme. “Each side is just hoping that the other would blink first,” Ali Vaez, an Iran expert from the International Crisis Group, a conflict-prevention think tank, told AFP. Negotiations opened a year ago in Vienna to revive the landmark 2015 agreement that was supposed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the United States walked out of the agreement in 2018 and reinstated economic sanctions against Tehran, which in response, shrugged off restrictions imposed on its nuclear activities. Biden wants Iran to return to the agreement, provided that Iran resumes those commitments. Despite early hopes, the talks are deadlocked and the emissaries have not been in the Austrian capital since March 11. However, a draft compromise is still on the table, after resolution of most of the thorniest issues. The fate of the Guards is the final obstacle blocking the talks: the Islamic Republic is demanding the removal of its elite ideological force from the US blacklist of “foreign terrorist organizations.” The Iranians argue that it was only added to the list by Trump to increase pressure on them after the US exit from the 2015 agreement, also known by its acronym, the JCPOA. But the Americans have shot back that the subject is in no way related to the nuclear issue. “If Iran wants sanctions lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they’ll need to address concerns of ours that go beyond the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week.