Washington: “Negotiations to revive the nuclear deal with Iran have stalled. Iran is just a few weeks away from approaching the breakout time of its atomic bombing. Therefore, it is unclear whether Iran is willing to join the nuclear deal, and we are trying to anticipate its stand. Even if the US joins the 2015 nuclear deal, hundreds of sanctions imposed on Iran will remain in place. The United States will try to maintain the pressure on Iran for reasons other than its nuclear program,’ US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned.
While speaking before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Blinken gave details on the current negotiations with Iran onbgoing for the past three months. However, Blinken also said it was currently difficult to tell whether an agreement would be reached between the United States and Iran after the talks in Vienna.
Besides, ‘Iran’s nuclear activities are creating difficulties in the negotiations. Therefore, It remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do come back into compliance,’ the US Secretary of State claimed. Furthermore, the Secretary of State told the Senate members that Iran is approaching a “breakout time” for building a nuclear bomb. Breakout time is the time it takes for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. In the last few years, the US and Israeli intelligence agencies have made various claims in this regard.
Before signing the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, then US President Barack Obama had said that Iran would build a nuclear bomb within a year. Also, recently, Israeli intelligence had warned that Iran could do so in three and a half months. While US Secretary of State Blinken mentioned, it would take Iran a few weeks at best.
At the same time, ‘Even if the 2015 nuclear deal is revived with US participation, the sanctions on Iran will not be lifted. At the same time, the restrictions imposed by former President Donald Trump will also remain in place. Apart from the nuclear program, Iran cannot be exempted from sanctions for the development of missiles, support for terrorist groupsand its destabilising activities,’ Blinken explained.
Iran had initially demanded the United States first join the 2015 nuclear deal and then lift sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Iran has asserted it will not join the nuclear deal unless the United States agrees to its demands. Also, Ali Rabiei, a spokesman for the Rouhani government, had asserted that the ongoing negotiations with the Biden administration would attain success as long as President Hassan Rouhani’s government is in power in Iran.
Elections are to be held in Iran, following which there will be a change in guard in August. Therefore, Iran believes that the negotiations will be successful in the next two months. As a result, US Secretary of State’s announcement that ‘even if the Biden administration’s attempts to revive the nuclear deal are successful, the sanctions on Iran cannot be lifted’ assumes much significance. The events indicate the changing policy of the Biden administration on Iran. Moreover, it could have far-reaching effects on the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.