Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that “it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do come back into [JCPOA] compliance”. “Meanwhile, its program is galloping forward”, he added. “The longer this goes on, the more the breakout time gets down... it’s now down, by public reports, to a few months at best. And if this continues, it will get down to a matter of weeks”. The following day, Blinken indicated “even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions will remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain unless and until Iran’s behaviour changes”. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif riposted that it “it remains unclear whether President Biden and Secretary Blinken are ready to bury the failed ‘maximum pressure’ policy… and cease using economic terrorism as bargaining ‘leverage’”.
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