The United States is prepared to return to the Iran nuclear deal if Tehran shows “strict compliance” with it, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday. It's a new sign of Washington’s ambition to revive the deal rejected by former President Donald Trump even as Tehran appears to be backing further away from it.
Speaking to the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament, Blinken laid out a U.S. wish list about many issues including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and space-borne threats in the future. He expressed concerns about a Russian anti-satellite weapons test last year and China’s “provocative and dangerous weapons development programs,” in addition to the message about Iran.
Blinken’s comments by video signaled another step by the Biden administration to re-engage with many international institutions and agreements that were shunned, rejected or largely ignored by Trump. It is the first time in years a top U.S. diplomat has spoken to the disarmament body, which has become mainly a venue for countries to voice concerns about disarmament because it has failed to usher in any accords. On Sunday, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi told reporters after an emergency trip to Tehran that Iran’s government would begin offering “less access” to U.N. weapons inspectors - involving unspecified changes to the type of activity the agency can carry out.
Today on AirTalk, we’ll look at the process of the U.S. rejoining the Iran nuclear deal, the hurdles that remain, and what it all portends for the future of foreign relations between the U.S. and Iran.
With files from the Associated Press