WASHINGTON – Biden’s top diplomat was charged on Wednesday Iran for not having negotiated in good faith on its nuclear program and said the United States was considering “other options” to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks were a notable change for the Biden administration, which had spent months trying to save the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement which limited Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to military grade levels, among other restrictions.
Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and Iran has since violated the deal.
Blinken made the comments before meeting with his counterparts from Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Iran’s nuclear capability was high on their agenda and warned that Tehran was on the verge of becoming a nuclear weapon state.
Blinken stopped before declaring the diplomatic talks dead and said those talks remain the administration’s preferred course. But he suggested that Iran was using blocking tactics to advance its weapons program.
“Iran has used this time to advance its nuclear program in various ways, including enriching uranium to 20% and even 60%, using more advanced centrifuges, gaining more knowledge,” Blinken said. Uranium must generally be enriched to about 90 percent or more to be considered as “weapon quality”.
“We are ready to look to other options if Iran does not change course,” he said. ” Hurry up. “
Lapid has suggested that “everyone” in the United States, Israel and Iran understands that this means a military strike, although he and Blinken have both avoided saying it directly.
“We know there are times when nations must use force to protect the world from evil,” Lapid said in his opening remarks. “If a terrorist regime wants to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. “
Blinken said the United States would be ready to resume negotiations if Iranian officials demonstrate a real commitment to revert to the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the United States and other world powers. But he and Lapid both said the diplomatic channel was closing.
“Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold country,” Lapid said. “Every day that passes, every delay in negotiations brings Iran one step closer to a nuclear bomb.”