In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken would not rule out the idea of military action against Iran if the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, isn’t revived.
Blinken said the US and its allies prefer diplomacy but are considering “other options” if JCPOA isn’t restored. When asked if that the options include military action, Blinken said, “As we always say, every option is on the table.”
The threat comes less than a week after Iran said it was ready to return to JCPOA negotiations in Vienna by the end of November. US officials have responded to Iran’s willingness to restart talks with skepticism, and the Biden administration slapped new sanctions on Tehran after the announcement.
Blinken said the US is in “lockstep” with its allies on Iran’s nuclear program and said, “We still believe diplomacy is the best path forward.” But the threats and fresh sanctions are not sending Iran a positive signal.
On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said imposing new sanctions after Tehran said it was ready to return to talks shows the US is “not trustworthy.”
Sunday’s interview was not the first time Blinken hinted at attacking Iran. Earlier this month, at a press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Blinken said the US was ready to “turn to other options” if the JCPOA talks fail. Lapid made clear that one of those “options” was military action.
The Israelis are constantly threatening Iran and recently approved a $1.5 billion military budget boost that will go towards preparing for attacks on the Islamic Republic. The Israeli Air Force has also resumed practicing bombing Iranian nuclear facilities.