The United States still does not know whether Iran is ready to resume its 2015 nuclear deal, and if Tehran continues to breach the pact, the “breakout time” it takes to amass enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon will be shorten it to weeks. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday.
“It remains unclear whether Iran is ready and willing to do what it has to do to comply with the regulations again,” Blinken told lawmakers. “In the meantime his program gallops forward. … The longer this takes, the more the breakout time shortens … According to public reports, it has now dropped to a few months at best. And if this continues, it will” come down on a couple of weeks. “
The United States and Iran started indirect talks in Vienna in April to see if both sides could agree to revert to the 2015 agreement after Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in order to procure fissile materials for a weapon in return for help aggravating US, EU and UN sanctions.
The fifth round of talks ended on June 2, and diplomats said a sixth could begin on Thursday, although that wasn’t set in stone. The United States abandoned the deal in 2018, causing Iran to break its terms about a year later. Continue reading
Talks resumed on Thursday would only take eight days to reach a pact ahead of Iran’s June 18 elections, which will likely usher in a tough president. Some delegates say that while an agreement is possible by then, it seems increasingly unlikely.
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