Biden Admin Says Return to Iran Nuke Deal ‘Not on Agenda’ Hints at Military Action
The Biden administration has finally acknowledged a return to the 2015 Obama-led nuclear deal with Iran is no longer on the agenda, and the Iranians are to blame for “killing the prospect,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.
Price also said that the U.S. and Israel are in lockstep about preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The announcement comes after months of stalled negotiations as Iran continued to enrich uranium dangerously close to a level that is weapons-grade.
“The Iranians killed the prospect for a swift return to compliance with the JCPOA. A return to compliance with the JCPOA isn’t on the agenda,” Price said during a press briefing in Washington on Monday.
“It’s not on the agenda for primarily one reason; that’s because the Iranians turned their back on it, the Iranians reneged on commitments they had made.”
While the U.S. believes that “diplomacy presents the most attractive option” for stopping Iran’s nuclear program, “we also agree with our Israeli partners that we shouldn’t take anything off the table.”
#BREAKING: @POTUS is asked when he’s going to declare #Iran JCPOA dead and he says: “It is dead but we’re not gonna announce it.” 😂 pic.twitter.com/YjZGmsP5lW
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) December 20, 2022
“There is absolute unanimity with our Israeli partners. We both wholeheartedly, fully are committed to the fact that Iran must never be able to acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said.
“That is the commitment President Biden has. That is the same commitment that we’ve heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu. We are in lockstep when it comes to that strategic goal.”
When U.S. officials meet with “our Israeli partners, one of the many issues we discuss is the most – the various means by which we can see to it that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,” Price added.
It was the clearest indication that the administration is open to discussing military action against Iran’s nuclear program.
Price’s comments ahead of a visit by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to Israel.
Sullivan on Monday said that he would be discussing how to curb the nuclear threat posed by Iran with his Israeli counterparts.
“We’ll have the opportunity to engage deeply with the new Israeli government on the threat posed by Iran. And I think we share the same fundamental objectives. And we will work through any differences we have on tactics, the same way that we have over the course of the past two years,” Sullivan said in a press briefing.
“We’ve made clear that our priority right now is not the JCPOA. This is not the moment or the context to place priority on that.”