Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Allied officials are considering military options to counter Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program as U.S. hopes of renewing the 2015 nuclear deal dwindle.
“We are discussing this among ourselves and we will consider all options to meet the challenge posed by Iran,” Blinken said alongside Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to do it, but it takes two to engage in diplomacy, and we haven’t seen Iran’s willingness to do so at this point. . “
President Joe Biden’s administration tried to orchestrate a joint return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but Iranian officials refused to return to Vienna for seventh round of “side talks” as they block dogs United Nations nuclear guard. This dynamic has prompted the celebrants of the first anniversary of the Abrahamic Accords to focus on the Iranian threat that has brought Israeli and Arab officials in the Gulf closer together.
“Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold country,” Lapid said. “Secretary of State Blinken and I are sons of Holocaust survivors. We know there are times when nations must use force to protect the world from evil. If a terrorist regime wants to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make it clear that the civilized world will not allow this.
State Department special envoy Rob Malley, the US key man in the nuclear negotiations, displayed pessimism on a separate broadcast. “Iran is giving us its answer by what it does and does not do every day, and we have to take that into account,” said Malley. noted at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace forum.
He also admitted that he was uncertain whether Iranian officials ever had a “good faith” interest in renewing the 2015 agreement.
“Our assessment at the time was that we were making real progress,” he said. “Now two big caveats: First, were we reading Iranians correctly, even then? And second, we now have a different team, different leadership with a different president, who clearly states that he wants to do things differently.
These public signals set the diplomatic backdrop for International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi’s trip to Washington next week. He is program to inform the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Iran’s reluctance. Still, Malley underscored his frustration with former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the pact in 2018 – “We didn’t need to be here” – and reiterated that the administration remains open to further negotiations.
“I heard Malley keep talking to the Iranians,” said Richard Goldberg, senior advisor to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and senior White House National Security Council official on countering Iran’s nuclear program under Trump. “At this point all I can see is asking the Iranians to see if they can bring some progress to Vienna in the next round of indirect talks.”
Lapid hinted that the sound of the saber might have diplomatic value, saying, “Sometimes the world has to show its hand in order to make sure Iran understands the consequences of running for it to become a threshold country. We’re not going to allow that to happen, and I think everyone in this room shares that sentiment, and we’re discussing how to make sure that never happens. “
Blinken confirmed, “We are united in the proposition that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, and President Biden is committed to that proposal. We believe that the diplomatic channel is the most effective way to ensure that this does not happen.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original author: Joel gehrke