Blinken says Iran's actions risk deepening nuclear crisis, isolation

Published June 9, 2022
A file photo of US State Secretary Antony Blinken. — Reuters/File
A file photo of US State Secretary Antony Blinken. — Reuters/File

US State Secretary Antony Blinken said on Thursday that Iran is risking greater isolation and heightened tensions after the country removed cameras meant to monitor its nuclear programme.

Iran's actions threatened the possible restoration of the 2015 six-party nuclear deal, Blinken said in a statement.

“The only outcome of such a path will be a deepening nuclear crisis and further economic and political isolation for Iran,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the removal of 27 surveillance cameras used by the UN nuclear watchdog to monitor Tehran's activities could deal a “fatal blow” to negotiations to revive a landmark deal.

The original agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

It was unilaterally abrogated in 2018 by the US administration of Donald Trump, and Iran has slowly resumed activities that have violated its commitments to the deal.

Since coming to office in January 2021, US President Joe Biden has sought to revive the agreement, by offering to lift sanctions on the country in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limitations and monitoring of its nuclear development programme.

Rather than address the IAEA's concerns, Blinken said, Iran's response was instead “to threaten further nuclear provocations and further reductions of transparency. ”

“Such steps would be counterproductive and would further complicate our efforts to return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” he said.

Blinken stressed that the basis to revive the JPCOA has been on the table since March, but said Iran was holding it up with “additional demands that are extraneous” to the agreement.

One Iranian demand holding up a deal has been that the United States removes its official terrorist group designation from the country's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The Biden administration has rejected that demand, saying the issue is unconnected to the JPCOA.

Opinion

Editorial

Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...
Losing grip
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Losing grip

The state and the government are responsible for providing Imran with the security he deserves as a former prime minister.
Telling silence
Updated 29 Jan, 2023

Telling silence

THE silence of the Sindh government over the recent exposé in this paper about Karachi’s water tanker mafia ...
Palestine escalation
29 Jan, 2023

Palestine escalation

THE fire of conflict once again threatens to envelop the land of Palestine, as the growing cycle of violence refuses...