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Blinken: The Ball is in Iran’s Court

Blinken: The Ball is in Iran’s Court

Thursday, 25 March, 2021 - 11:15
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers an address after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium March 24, 2021. Virginia Mayo/Pool via REUTERS

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that building a stronger nuclear agreement with Iran lies on its full compliance with the 2015 deal.

“With regard to Iran, we have been very clear that the path to diplomacy is open. And as you noted, when the EU suggested bringing together all of the participants in the JCPOA to look at how we might come back to compliance with the JCPOA, we said yes, and to date Iran has chosen not to engage,” said Blinken on Wednesday following talks with other NATO members in Brussels.

“So as we’ve said, the ball is really in their court to see if they want to take the path to diplomacy and returning to compliance with the agreement.

“And should that happen, we would then seek, as we’ve said, to build a longer and stronger agreement, but also to engage on some of the other issues where Iran’s actions and conduct are particularly problematic: destabilization of countries in the region, ballistic missile program, et cetera.”

He also told reporters that he had a meeting with Washington’s E3 partners, with the UK, with Germany, and France.

“We are all very much on the same page when it comes to – when it comes to Iran, when it comes to our common interest in seeing if Iran wants to engage in diplomacy to come back fully into compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA. We are, again, prepared to engage on that. To date Iran has not been, but let’s see what happens in the weeks ahead,” said Blinken.

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