US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that “the path to diplomacy is open right now” with Iran over its 2015 nuclear deal.

“The path to diplomacy is open right now. Iran is still a ways away from being in compliance (with the deal). So we’ll have to see what it does,” Blinken told National Public Radio according to a transcript provided by the broadcaster and quoted by Reuters.

Asked if there was any move under way to resume direct diplomacy, Blinken pointed to U.S. President Joe Biden’s public stance that if Iran resumes compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal the United States would do so too.

“The President’s been very clear publicly, repeatedly, about where we stand. And we’ll see what, if any, reaction Iran has to that,” he said.

Blinken would not address whether the Biden administration has had any direct engagement with Iranian officials.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 agreement nearly three years ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran. The Islamic Republic, in turn, has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

Current President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 agreement but has stressed he would return to the 2015 agreement if Iran returned to compliance with it.

Iran has repeatedly made clear that it will not renegotiate the original agreement. Biden, for his part, has stressed that the US will not lift its sanctions on Tehran until Iran freezes its uranium enrichment.