US ready to consider alternate options if Iran nuclear deal fails: Antony Blinken

There are solely “a few weeks left” to save lots of the Iran nuclear deal, and the US is prepared to take a look at “other options” if negotiations fail, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Thursday.

Talks to revive the 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers – US, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany – started final yr however stopped in June as Iran elected President Ebrahim Raisi.

The talks resumed in November.

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“We have, I think, a few weeks left to see if we can get back to mutual compliance,” Blinken mentioned in an interview with US public radio station NPR.

“We’re very, very short on time,” as a result of “Iran is getting closer and closer to the point where they could produce on very, very short order enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon,” he mentioned.

According to the highest US diplomat, Tehran has made nuclear advances that “will become increasingly hard to reverse because they’re learning things, they’re doing new things as a result of having broken out of their constraints under the agreement.”

The 2015 deal supplied Iran much-needed reduction from sanctions which have crippled its economic system, in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

But then-US president Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018 prompted Tehran to stroll again on its commitments.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has backed a return, with Washington not directly participating within the European-brokered negotiations on reviving the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After months of stalled talks, hosted in Vienna, Washington not too long ago reported modest however nonetheless inadequate progress.

Reviving the accord “would be the best result for America’s security,” mentioned Blinken. “But if we can’t, we are looking at other steps, other options,” with allies together with in Europe and the Middle East.

Blinken has beforehand raised implicit threats of navy motion.

The different choices have been “the subject of intense work as well in the past weeks and months,” he mentioned. “We’re prepared for either course.”

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