US Secretary of State Blinken sees long road to Iran deal

US Secretary of State Blinken sees long road to Iran deal
Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that he United States will only return to the Iran nuclear deal once Iran meets its commitments, warning of a long road ahead until the process is verified.

On his first full day as the top US diplomat, Blinken confirmed President Biden’s willingness to return to the 2015 deal from which his predecessor Donald Trump withdrew, but rejected Iranian pressure for the US to act first.

Blinken told a news conference: “Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts. And it would take some time, should it make the decision to do so, for it to come back into compliance and time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations.”

“We’re not there yet, to say the least,” he said.

Mr Blinken declined to say which US official would lead talks with Tehran but said “we will bring to bear different perspectives on the issue.”

If Iran returns to the deal, the US would seek to build what Blinken called a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other “deeply problematic” issues.

He did not name these but President Joe Biden has said they include Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxy forces in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew from nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama and subsequently slapped punishing sanctions.

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