Secretary of State Anthony Blinken maintained that “if Iran comes back into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA, the U.S. would do the same thing and then we would use that as a platform to build, with our allies and partners, what we called a longer and stronger agreement and to deal with a number of other issues that are deeply problematic in the relationship with Iran”. “We are a long way from that point”, he added. “Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts”. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded by contending that “the U.S. violated JCPOA, blocked food and medicine [and] punished adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2231… now, who should take the first step?” Relatedly, Iran’s UN envoy affirmed that “any delay in the lifting of sanctions will be construed as a sign of continued animosity toward the Iranian people”. Referring to the domestic legislation mandating the expansion of nuclear activities, the envoy asserted that “the Iranian people will not be indifferent to continued collective punishment”, and warned: “The window is closing”.
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