WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the United States has not yet seen whether Iran will meet its core obligations to remove sanctions, although ongoing talks are showing progress.
Iran’s president said last week that the United States was prepared to lift trade sanctions, although a senior Iranian official contradicted him and European diplomats said there were still difficult issues.
Indirect talks are underway in Vienna as the Biden government seeks to find a way forward with Iran, including how Tehran can once again comply with its 2105 nuclear deal with world powers.
‘Iran, I think, knows what he needs to do to meet the core office again, and what we have not seen yet is whether Iran is willing and willing to make a decision to do what it needs to do. This is the test and we do not have an answer yet, ‘Blinken told ABC News’ This Week With George Stephanopoulos’.
With a fifth round of discussions in the coming days, Blinken said the discussions made clear what both parties needed to do, telling CNN’s program “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: “We’ve actually made progress.”
The United States dropped the international treaty in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, which reintroduced sanctions against the oil, banking and shipping sector in Iran.
President Joe Biden, who succeeded Trump in January, said he believed Iran was seriously involved in talks, but that it remained unclear what steps Tehran would actually take to abide by the agreement, which was established when Biden was vice president. under former President Barack Obama. .
If both parties can return to the original agreement, Blinken told CNN on Sunday: ‘Then we can use that as a basis to look at how to make the deal itself potentially longer and stronger, and we can also address this other issues, whether it be Iran’s support for terrorism … its destabilizing support for various proxy throughout the Middle East. ”
But, he said on ABC, “The first thing we need to do is put the core problem back in the box.”
By Susan Heavey