U.S. announced its intention to call Iran back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), according to toU.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.
“So with regard to the nuclear talks, when we pulled out of the nuclear agreement, the so-called JCPOA, that it put Iran’s nuclear program in a box, Iran then started to break out from that box. And it is now in a position where it is closer to having the ability to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon on short order, in a matter of months. The agreement had pushed it past a year. So we have a real interest in trying to put Iran back into that box, and diplomacy is the way to do it” Blinken said in an interview with local media.
JCPOA is a detailed, 159-page agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on July 14, 2015. The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.
“We have made clear that the path of diplomacy is open. The European Union, which is one of the parties to the original agreement, invited all of the other parties – our European partners, Russia, China, and Iran, and us – to come to start to talk about the possible return to the nuclear agreement. We said yes; Iran said no. We’ll see what they do going forward. We’ve been clear that the path of diplomacy is open. The ball’s in Iran’s court to decide if it agrees” Blinken added.
When asked whether the U.S. was considering lifting sanctions Blinken said that the U.S. has been very clear that Iran has to come back into compliance with its obligations under the nuclear agreement, and if it does, the U.S. would have done the same thing, that would involve some sanctions relief.
“But again, we’re a long ways from that. Unfortunately, Iran’s moving in the wrong direction. It continues to take steps that lift the various constraints of the agreement and is making its program more dangerous, not less dangerous. So first and foremost, we want to see Iran come back into compliance with its obligations,” he concluded.