President Joe Biden’s administration is ready and willing to sit down with Iran to discuss furthering the Iran Nuclear Deal or negotiating a new one, the administration announced Thursday.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018, arguing the deal was weak and Iran wasn’t holding up its end of the bargain. The U.S. departure led Iran to continue its drift from the deal’s requirements, and the Biden administration has said it is willing to end sanctions if Iran returns to its agreement.
“The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters in a Thursday statement.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said before his confirmation Iran could have enough fissile material to create a nuclear bomb in “a matter of weeks” if it and the U.S. do not rejoin the nuclear deal.
While there is a separate timeline for creating a working nuclear bomb once the fissile material has been obtained, Iran is much closer to obtaining the material than it was under the Iran Deal, Blinken told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. Blinken argued that Iran was at least a year away from obtaining sufficient fissile material under former President Barack Obama’s Iran deal. (RELATED: Iran Ends Nuclear Deal Commitment, Will No Longer Limit Uranium Enrichment)
“The time that it would take Iran – based on public reports, the time that it would take Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon is down to, we think, a few months,” he said at the time. “So that’s a real problem, and it’s a problem that could get more acute, because if Iran continues to lift some of these restraints imposed by the agreement, that could get down to a matter of weeks.”