Blinken: Unclear If Iran Willing to Comply With Nuclear Deal
It is unclear if Iran is willing to come back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday. Blinken also lamented the swiftness with which Iran’s nuclear program is moving forward during an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“We don’t know if that’s actually going to happen,” Blinken said of Iran’s rejoining the nuclear deal. “We’ve been engaged in indirect conversations for the last couple of months and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance.”
Blinken noted that Iran’s nuclear program is “galloping forward.” He added that “the longer this goes on, the more their breakout time gets down,” referring to the time needed for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.
Iran and the world powers have held at least five rounds of meetings in Vienna in the last two months to negotiate a return to the nuclear deal. The US and Iran have held indirect talks in Vienna in parallel.
The US left the deal in 2018, after which Iran began violating its restrictions on uranium enrichment, reaching 60% purity.