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UNITED NATIONS, New York – The Biden administration decided to pursue a nuclear deal with Iran in hopes of preventing the nation from obtaining the bomb, even at the cost of ignoring the regime’s human rights violations.
“We’ve been focused… on doing everything we can to permanently stop and verify it so that Iran is never able to acquire a nuclear weapon,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told Fox News Digital, on Tuesday. “That’s a commitment that President Biden has made, and it’s a calculation that not only the State Department has made, but the international community and our own intelligence community has determined that, at least for the time being, the JCPOA… permanent and verifiable that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this month that hopes for a nuclear deal had once again stalled as negotiations took a “backward” step. He told reporters at NATO headquarters in Belgium that he would not “negotiate anything in public” and that despite the fact that both sides had “closed some gaps”, Iran had not yet met “basic requirements” for the deal. .
At the same time, tensions in Iran reached boiling point following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police for alleged violations of hijab (headscarf) rules. Police have rejected responsibility for Amini’s death, claiming she fell into a coma, but her family and witnesses say they found evidence when she arrived at the hospital that she had been beaten.
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Demonstrations overnight after Amini’s funeral led to the death of at least five protesters who demanded an end to the morality police.
Price said Amini “should be alive today” but stressed that the State Department views Iran’s nuclear potential as a primary threat.
“We are doing everything we can to not only support the human rights and aspirations for greater freedom of the Iranian people, but also to hold accountable those within the Iranian system who are responsible for the violence against the Iranian people,” Price said. “When it comes to Iran, however … there would be no greater challenge for the United States, our partners and the wider international system than an Iran with a nuclear weapon.”
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Price argued that any challenge Iran poses would eventually become more serious if Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon, citing the country’s support for terrorist groups and proxy militias in the region as examples of threats that could become more serious.
He acknowledged that the agreement is not guaranteed, insisting that the US has been “sincere and firm in… efforts to negotiate a potential return to the JCPOA, but… has also remained very firm on our fundamental principles”, saying that the US “is not willing to bend.”
“So far, at least, the Iranians haven’t given a firm indication that they’re prepared to make the deals or make the decisions they need to make,” Price explained. “Can we get back to the JCPOA? So it’s an outcome that is far from certain.”
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Price rejected the idea that any benefit Iran derives from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), such as much-needed funds that would help alleviate the country’s sanctions-instigated economic crisis, would serve as an endorsement of Iran’s policies and actions. Price said the only objective is to ensure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.
“It’s not about supporting Iran at all,” Price emphasized. “It would be about if there is a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, fulfilling a core national security interest of the United States and a core interest of our partners in the region and around the world, namely, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” .
However, while the US may use sanctions to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the US will not seek to use them to achieve other goals, such as climate, which President Biden and several world leaders highlighted this week at the UN General Assembly as the number one priority for the planet.
Price said the US wants to see other countries act “cooperatively” to solve the problem, acknowledging that sanctions “are an important tool when it comes to advancing certain foreign policy ends” but that such actions do not extend to the climate.
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“When it comes to climate, what we’re looking for is cooperation… we’re looking for counties to come together and cooperatively discuss how we can work towards these shared climate goals,” he said.
Source : www.foxnews.com