US, France: Time running out to revive Iran nuclear deal

Blinken: There will come a point where it will be very hard to return back to the standards set by the JCPOA.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken
Reuters

The United States and France on Friday warned Iran that time was running out to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, voicing fear that Tehran's sensitive atomic activities could advance if talks drag on.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a visit to France, warned that the United States still had "serious differences" with Iran regarding a return to compliance to the nuclear deal.

"There will come a point, yes, where it will be very hard to return back to the standards set by the JCPOA," Blinken told reporters, according to AFP, using the formal name of the accord.

"We haven't reached that point -- I can't put a date on it -- but it's something that we're conscious of," he added.

Blinken warned that if Iran "continues to spin ever more sophisticated centrifuges" and steps up uranium enrichment, it will bring nearer the "breakout" time at which it will be dangerously close to the ability to develop a nuclear bomb.

At the same time, he said that President Joe Biden still supported a return to the accord.

"We have a national interest in trying to put the nuclear problem back in the box that it was in the JCPOA," Blinken said.

France also ramped up pressure on Iran to move ahead.

"We expect the Iranian authorities to take the final decisions -- no doubt difficult ones -- which will allow the negotiations to be concluded," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at the joint news conference with Blinken, according to AFP.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for both sides to take in order to revive the deal.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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