In the wake of discussions between the two countries breaking down this week in Vienna, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that Iran does not seem to be serious about resuming compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement that placed curbs on the country’s nuclear aspirations.
Blinken, speaking at the Reuters Next conference, said that the route to dialogue with Iran is “becoming narrower and shorter” as the United States attempts to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement (JCPOA).
Iran’s nuclear capabilities were curtailed, and US inspectors were given the power to keep an eye on them, as part of a deal in which the United States agreed to relax long-standing sanctions on the country because of its claimed links to terrorism.
The agreement was reached under the Obama administration, but the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement in the summer of 2018. The agreement was rescinded when then-President Donald Trump said it was too generous toward Tehran. Economic sanctions were re-imposed by the United States. The Iranian government responded by violating the agreement’s limitations on nuclear enrichment, among other things, and proceeded to enrich nuclear fuel.
The Biden administration had hoped to bring the agreement back into force, but discussions have halted this week as a result of demands from the new Iranian leadership.
On Friday, Blinken said that President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement was a “disastrous miscalculation.” Because what has occurred is that Iran has exploited that as a pretext to restart its nuclear programme, despite the fact that it has been subjected to unprecedented international pressure.”
He expressed regret that, before to the Iranian elections, which resulted in the installation of a more conservative administration, the United States and Iran had made “genuine progress,” with “both nations fulfilling their pledges,” he said.
When asked what choices the United States has to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme, Blinken said that the United States is consulting with other regional partners, including Israel, China, and Russia, on the matter.
“Even Russia and China are plainly dissatisfied with what Iran is doing or failing to accomplish in these negotiations,” says the author. In the next days and weeks, Iran will have to make some very crucial choices.”
Blinken would not discuss what the United States would do if Iran does not return to compliance, but he did say that the United States will not just allow Iran to “tread water” in the negotiations and let them to go on forever.
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