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US has 'urgent' responsibility to ensure Iran doesn't acquire nuclear weapon: Biden's State Department pick

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Tehran | January 20, 2021 6:42:57 AM IST
The United States has an "urgent" responsibility to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, said state secretary nominee Antony Blinken, adding that the upcoming Biden administration is "a long way" from executing its plan to return to the Iran nuclear deal.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken said: "An Iran with a nuclear weapon ... would be an Iran that will be even more dangerous than it already is."

"We are a long way from there," said Antony Blinken, US President-elect Joe Biden's choice for secretary of state, when asked about the next administration's plan to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Asserting that there was a need to include regional allies in any future nuclear talks, he said: "We have an urgent responsibility to do what we can."

"We would then have to evaluate whether they were actually making good if they say they are coming back into compliance with their obligations, and then we would take it from there," he added, saying Biden's ultimate aim would be a deal that also limited Iran's missile program and support for regional proxies.

In 2018, the Trump-led US government had withdrawn from the 2015 deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), terming it as "defective at its core".

Tehran had stopped complying with some elements of the agreement in May, a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal.

The deal was hailed as a major diplomatic victory by the Obama administration.

The Trump administration had also slapped a multitude of sanctions on Tehran citing the latter's support for state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts. (ANI)

 
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