Blinken warns: U.S. close to giving up on Iran deal

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken says the nuclear deal was in peril of getting nixed due to Iran's repeated infractions.

Eitan Divinsky ,

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken
Reuters

"I'm not going to put a date on it but we are getting closer to the point at which a strict return to compliance with the JCPOA does not reproduce the benefits that that agreement achieved," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday, sending out a warning to the Islamic Republic following a scathing report by the IAEA.

The nuclear watchdog said it had been "seriously undermined" after a number of inspections were banned by local authorities.

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Iran's suggestion that talks would be paused for two to three months was "far too long."

Maas said he had exerted pressure on Tehran to return to negotiations.

Ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, alleged to have been one of the leading advocates of a series of deadly repressions in the late 1980s became Iran's president in early August, taking the reigns from Hassan Rouhani, who was credited with negotiating Iran's end of the 2005 nuclear agreement. The deal had put an end to most UN and U.S.-imposed sanctions and freed up billions of dollars held by the U.S.

In retaliation for Trump's withdrawal from the agreement in May, 2018 and reimposition of sanctions, Iran abandoned its promises, speeding up efforts attain a nuclear arsenal.

On September 2, the AFP reported Iran's Foreign Minister said talks aimed at reviving Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers were not likely not resume for another two to three months.

The negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Raisi won the presidential race, with no date scheduled for a resumption of dialogue.

"We are not seeking to flee the negotiation table and the... government considers a real negotiation is a negotiation that produces palpable results allowing the rights of the Iranian nation to be guaranteed," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said at the time, adding that the Vienna talks are "one of the questions on the foreign policy and government agenda."

But "the other party knows full well that a process of two to three months is required for the new government to establish itself and to start taking decisions," stated Amir-Abdollahian.

The talks in Vienna involve Iran and the five other remaining parties to the deal -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. The United States has also taken part in the talks while avoiding direct contact with Iran.



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