Blinken Says There’s ‘Limited Runway’ For Iran Nuclear Talks
(Bloomberg) -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran is running out of time to get back into the 2015 deal that limited its nuclear program, as officials signal their concerns that a new agreement may be out of reach.
Blinken was careful not to put a time limit on U.S. patience but reiterated that the Biden administration wouldn’t wait forever for Iran to decide to rejoin talks on both sides coming back into compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Former President Donald Trump quit the deal in 2018.
“Simply getting back to the terms of the JCPOA at some point will not be sufficient to capture the benefits of the agreement,” Blinken told reporters in Pittsburgh, where he was attending the inaugural meeting of the Trade and Technology Council with the European Union. “There’s a limited runway on that.”
Blinken’s team has said repeatedly it’s ready to begin a seventh round of indirect talks with Iran at any time, even as Iran presses ahead with advances in its nuclear program and moves further out of compliance with the JCPOA. A sixth round of talks ended inconclusively in June.
Officials familiar with the discussions said the two sides have reached broad agreement on what both sides need to do to get back into the accord but Iran is seeking guarantees that the U.S. won’t abandon it again should an opponent win the presidency in 2024 -- something the Biden administration can’t offer.
The U.S. is “fully prepared to go back into compliance with the JCPOA,” Blinken said. But Iran hasn’t “demonstrated a willingness to do that.”
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