December 3, 2023

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Blinken on reviving Iran nuclear deal: ‘We’re now in a place where we’re not talking …

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said when asked on Sunday about reviving the Iran nuclear deal that U.S. officials are currently not talking about an agreement with their counterparts in Tehran.

During an appearance on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” Blinken said that it was a terrible mistake for the Trump administration to pull out of the nuclear deal reached with Iran in 2015.

“There have been some developments and some changes since the time we got out of the deal and the time we were trying to get back in it. But fundamentally what we tried to do was to get back into the existing agreement with some modest modifications,” Blinken said. “An agreement was on the table. Iran either couldn’t or wouldn’t say yes. We’re not about to take any deal. Of course, it has to meet our security objectives. It has to meet our interests.”

“So, we made a very good faith effort to get back into compliance with them. They couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. We’re now in a place where we’re not talking about a nuclear agreement,” Blinken added, noting that administration officials want their Iranian counterparts to take actions to deescalate the ongoing tensions between Tehran and Washington, D.C.

“Maybe we’ll have an environment where we can get back into a conversation about their nuclear program. Right now, we’re not in it.”

Blinken also said that the U.S. officials are “working across a whole series of lines of effort to push back on them, to make sure we have a strong deterrent, to make sure we have the appropriate pressure, and then to see if we get back to an opportunity where we can work on a nuclear deal.”

“We continue to believe strongly that diplomacy is the best way to resolve this problem. That compared to all the other options, it’s the one that can produce the most sustainable, effective result,” Blinken added. “But that doesn’t mean that the other options aren’t there and if necessary we won’t resort to them.”

Republican lawmakers recently warned the Biden administration about pursuing an agreement with Iran that would provide sanctions relief without approval from Congress.

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