National security adviser: Biden committed to diplomacy with Iran

Feb. 21 (UPI) — National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said President Joe Biden remains determined to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons despite the nation has not yet responded to an offer to negotiate.

Appearing on CBS News’ State of the Union, Sullivan said that Biden believes diplomacy is the best method to ensure that Iran continues to comply with international nuclear weapons restrictions.

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“He’s prepared to go to the table to talk to the Iranians about how we get strict constraints back on their nuclear program. That offer still stands because we believe diplomacy is the best way to do it,” he said. “Iran has not yet responded. But what’s happened as a result is that the script has been flipped. It is Iran that is isolated now diplomatically, not the United States. And the ball is in their court.”

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday the United States would be willing to negotiate plans with Iran and other signatories for both nations to return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

The announcement came after Iran said it would limit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency — the United Nations nuclear watchdog — at Iranian sites if the United States did not re-enter the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

Sullivan also said the United States had begun to communicate with Iran about at least five Americans who have been held in the nation as hostages, calling the detentions “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

“Our strong message to the Iranians will be that — we will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold Americans in an unjust and unlawful manner,” he said. “It will be a significant priority of this administration to get those Americans safely back home.”

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