Washington Believes Iran Deal is Still the Best Path, Blinken Says

Amid a prolonged standoff in talks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday during an appearance before Congress that the United States still believes a return to a nuclear deal with Iran is the best path.

Facing criticism of the deal during the meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken said that Washington continues to believe that getting back into compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), popularly dubbed the Iran Nuclear Deal, would be the best way to address the nuclear challenge Iran poses and to make sure Tehran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon.

Blinken called the 2015 agreement imperfect but better than the alternatives, noting that they’ve already tested the other option – pulling out of the agreement – trying to exert more pressure, but it resulted in giving Iran breakout time to develop a nuclear bomb.

Right afterward, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki expressed concern that Iran may produce a nuclear weapon in weeks.

The administration of the former President Donald Trump pulled out of the JCPOA -reached under his predecessor Barack Obama – and returned to impose sweeping sanctions against Tehran, including stopping other nations from buying Iranian oil.

Blinken, however, admitted that the deal does nothing to address the ballistic missile program Iran has or Iranian support for destabilizing countries in the region. He also acknowledged the existence of an ongoing Iranian threat against the lives of American officials.

The case mentioned during the meeting was that of the former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Blinken admitting Iran’s attempts to assassinate him are real and ongoing after sensitive State Department report’s details were made public and outlined a security arrangement for Pompeo, involving round-the-clock government protection.

Blinken, however, stressed in hitting back at criticism that if an agreement was reached, it would not prevent Washington from going after Iran using sanctions, interdictions, and stopping the money flow Tehran could use for weapons.

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