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Reversing Iran’s nuclear knowledge ‘very hard’ Blinken admits

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Iran’s nuclear knowledge is hard to reverse and there is urgency in limiting the program.

Speaking to CBS on Sunday, he answered questions regarding Iran’s nuclear program. “Since we pulled out of the nuclear deal and then Iran began to ignore the constraints that the deal had imposed on it, it has been galloping forward and it’s enriching more material. It’s enriching at- at higher levels- degrees than were allowed under the agreement,” he said. Tehran stresses that reducing its commitments to the nuclear deal is a legitimate and recognized response to US unilateral withdrawal from the deal.

“And you’re right, it [Iran] is gaining knowledge. And if this goes on a lot longer, if they continue to gallop ahead, then you’re right, they’re going to have knowledge that’s going to be very hard to reverse, which I think puts some urgency in seeing if we can put the nuclear problem back in the box that the agreement had put it in and, unfortunately, Iran is now out of as a result of us pulling out of the agreement.”Since April, representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and bringing the US back to compliance with the accord.

On behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, the meetings are chaired by Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora.

The US has sent a delegation to Vienna but it is not attending the JCPOA Joint Commission talks directly as Washington is no longer a party to the deal. It has, however, held separate talks with the other parties except Iran.

The US, under former president Donald Trump, left the JCPOA in 2018 and returned the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran as part of the agreement.

President Joe Biden has said Washington is willing to return to the pact if Tehran first suspends its countermeasures taken in response to US violations and reimpostion of sanctions.

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