There are only “a few weeks left” to save Iran’s nuclear deal, and the United States is ready to consider “alternatives” if negotiations fail, Secretary-General Antony Blinken said Thursday.
Negotiations to restore the 2015 agreement between Tehran and international powers – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany – began last year but were suspended in June when Iran elected ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi.
The talks resumed in November.
“We have, I think, a few weeks left to see if we can get back on track,” Blinken told US NPR radio.
“We are very short on time,” he said.
According to the US ambassador to the United States, Tehran has developed nuclear weapons that “would be extremely difficult to change because they are learning things, doing new things by breaking their barriers under a treaty.”
The 2015 treaty provided Iran with significant relief from the sanctions imposed on its economy, in retaliation for curbing its nuclear program.
But then-US president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2018 coalition urged Tehran to abandon its promises.
Trump’s successor Joe Biden co-sponsored a return visit, with Washington indirectly participating in the European Reconciliation Plan called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
After months of suspended negotiations, which took place in Vienna, Washington recently noted a small but insignificant progress.
Restoring the treaty “could have a very positive effect on American security,” Blinken said. “But if we can’t, we are looking at alternatives, alternatives” with allies including Europe and the Middle East.
Blinken has already raised the threats of war.
Other decisions have been “a very active matter in the last few weeks and months,” he said. “We are ready for any training.”
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