Blinken on reviving Iran nuclear deal: ‘We’re in a place now where we’re not talking about a nuclear deal’

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asked about reviving the Iran nuclear deal on Sunday, said US officials were not currently talking about a deal with their counterparts in Tehran.

During an appearance on CNN’s “GPS” with Fareed Zakaria, Blinken said it was a terrible mistake for the Trump administration to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

“There have been developments and changes from when we pulled out of the deal and when we tried to get back into it. But basically what we tried to do was go back to the existing agreement with some modest changes,” Blinken said. “A deal was on the table. Iran could not or would not say yes. We’re not about to make a deal. Of course, this must meet our security objectives. It must respond to our interests.

“So we made a very good faith effort to get back into compliance with them. They couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. We are now in a place where we are not talking about a nuclear deal,” Blinken added, noting that administration officials want their Iranian counterparts to take steps to defuse ongoing tensions between Tehran and Washington, DC.

“Maybe we will have an environment where we can resume a conversation about their nuclear program. For the moment, we are not there. »

Blinken also said U.S. officials are “working on a whole series of efforts to push them back, to make sure we have a strong deterrent, to make sure we have the appropriate pressure, and then to see if we come back to an opportunity where we can work on a nuclear deal.”

“We continue to firmly believe that diplomacy is the best way to solve this problem. Compared to all the other options, it is the one that can produce the most long-lasting and effective result,” Blinken added. “But that doesn’t mean the other options aren’t there and if necessary we won’t resort to them.”

Republican lawmakers recently warned the Biden administration against pursuing a deal with Iran that would grant sanctions relief without congressional approval.

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