29 January 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, noting that the JCPOA was not the immediate focus of U.S. policy towards Iran, maintained: “Diplomacy is never off the table. But President Biden has also made clear that we’re determined that Iran not acquire a nuclear weapon, and every option remains on the table to ensure that that doesn’t happen. But our preferred path would be diplomacy”. He further commented on anti-government protests in Iran and said: “We support the Iranian people, but these decisions [regarding regime change] are theirs. They’re not ours. They’re not anyone else’s. One of the things that we don’t want to do is to somehow make this about us. That’s exactly what the Iranian regime wants… It reflects a profound misunderstanding of their own people if they believe that somehow we’re responsible for this”. Iran’s diplomatic spokesperson warned against the “consequences of such provocative statements” regarding its nuclear program, while accusing the U.S. of “provocation and incitement of rioting”.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.