...

US exploring 'other options' to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon as diplomatic talks stall, Blinken says




  • In Politics
  • 2021-10-13 18:00:52Z
  • By USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - Biden's top diplomat on Wednesday accused Iran of failing to negotiate in good faith over its nuclear program and said the U.S. is looking at "other options" to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken's remarks were a notable shift for the Biden administration, which had spent months trying to salvage the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement that limited Iran's ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels, among other restrictions.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, and Iran has since violated the agreement.

Blinken made the comments before meeting with his counterparts from Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Iran's nuclear capability topped their agenda and warned that Tehran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear-armed state.

Blinken stopped short of declaring the diplomatic talks dead and said those talks remained the administration's preferred course. But he suggested that Iran was using stalling tactics to advance its weapons program.

Iran
Iran's new President-elect Ebrahim Raisi waves to participants at the conclusion of his press conference in Tehran, Iran, on June 21, 2021.  

"Iran has been using this time to advance its nuclear program in a variety of ways, including enriching uranium to 20% and even 60%, using more advanced centrifuges, acquiring more knowledge," Blinken said. Uranium typically must be enriched to about 90 percent or higher to be considered "weapons grade."

"We are prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn't change course," he said. "Time is running short."

Lapid suggested that "everybody" in the U.S., Israel and Iran understands that means a military strike, although he and Blinken both avoided stating that directly.

"We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil," Lapid said in opening remarks. "If a terror regime is going to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act."

Blinken said the U.S. would be willing to return to negotiations if Iranian officials demonstrated a real commitment to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the U.S. and other world powers. But both he and Lapid said the diplomatic path was closing.

"Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold country," Lapid said. "Every day that passes, every delay in negotiations, brings Iran closer to a nuclear bomb."

More:

  • Exclusive: Iran diplomat says 'window is closing' for Biden to rejoin nuclear deal

  • Iran nuclear deal: US agrees to meet Iran, world powers in first step for Biden administration

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Antony Blinken, Israel warn against Iran nuclear program's rapid gain

COMMENTS

More Related News

For Tehran golfers 13th hole is lucky, but for how long?
For Tehran golfers 13th hole is lucky, but for how long?

With his polo shirt, white cap and sunglasses, Khashayar Tamadon is dressed for a sport which Iran is not known for: golf. Even more unusual is the Tehran course that he plays on.

UN nuclear watchdog calls for censure of Iran over violations
UN nuclear watchdog calls for censure of Iran over violations
  • World
  • 2021-10-22 00:07:00Z

World powers should censure Iran for stonewalling the United Nations nuclear inspectors, according to the watchdog agency's chief.

Blinken spoke to Bogota embassy staff affected by Havana syndrome
Blinken spoke to Bogota embassy staff affected by Havana syndrome
  • US
  • 2021-10-21 21:58:35Z

BOGOTA (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met with U.S. embassy staff in Bogota who had been affected by anomalous health...

U.S. Iran envoy to meet with European allies about nuclear talks
U.S. Iran envoy to meet with European allies about nuclear talks
  • World
  • 2021-10-20 16:05:56Z

U.S. envoy for Iran Rob Malley will meet on Friday in Paris with senior diplomats from France, Germany and the U.K. to discuss the stalemate in the nuclear...

U.S. and Israel to form team to solve Jerusalem consulate dispute
U.S. and Israel to form team to solve Jerusalem consulate dispute

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics