Blinken: US Wants to ‘Strengthen’ Iran Nuclear Deal

Additional demands before giving Iran sanctions relief is a non-starter for talks with Tehran

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the US will work to “lengthen and strengthen” the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and reiterated the Biden administration’s stance on the agreement.

“President Biden has said: if Iran comes back into strict compliance with the JCPOA, the United States is prepared to do the same,” Blinken said in a pre-recorded speech for a UN-sponsored disarmament conference in Geneva.

“We will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the JCPOA and address other areas of concern, including Iran’s destabilizing regional behavior and ballistic missile development and proliferation,” he said.

While the Biden administration has said it is willing to talk with Iran about the deal, Blinken and other officials continue to make additional demands. But Iranian officials have been clear that before the US lifts sanctions to comply with the JCPOA, Iran has no interest in a stricter agreement.

Since the US is the party that violated the deal in 2018 by reimposing sanctions, Iran wants Biden to act first. While Iran has increased the activity of its civilian nuclear program, throughout the process, Tehran has said the steps could be immediately reversed if the US lifts sanctions.

The EU is currently working to organize a meeting of the nuclear deal participants and the US. On Saturday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said Tehran is studying a proposal from the EU for the possible talks.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had previously suggested the EU could help coordinate the actions needed to be taken by the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA. If the talks do happen, and the US continues to make unreasonable demands, it could kill the JCPOA for good.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.