Nuclear Deal With Iran ‘Neither Imminent Nor Certain,” US State Department Says
A nuclear agreement with Iran “is neither imminent nor is it certain,” the US State Department said. State Department spokesman Ned Price also told reporters Monday that “we are preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to full implementation” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers is known. “President Biden has made a commitment that Iran, under his watch, will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that commitment is as true and sturdy in a world in which we have a JCPOA and one in which we don’t,” Price also said. The Biden Administration is prepared to make “difficult decisions” in order to facilitate Iran’s return to compliance with the agreement, according to the State Department. Price said that Iran’s breakout time for a nuclear weapon was significantly longer when the agreement first went into effect and Iran was in full compliance, and “that breakout time is now measured in terms that are far less than a year.” He added that “We want to see to it that that breakout time is elongated, and just as importantly, that Iran is verifiably and permanently barred from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon.” When asked by a reporter, Price did not deny reports that the US is set to delist Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group in an effort to induce Iran to sign the revitalized agreement.