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UNITED NATIONS, New York – The Biden administration decided to pursue a nuclear deal with Iran in hopes of preventing the nation from getting the bomb, even at the cost of overlooking the regime’s human rights violations.
“We’ve been focused … on doing everything we can to permanently and verifiably ensure that Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “That’s a commitment that President Biden has made, and it’s a calculation that not only has the State Department made, but the international community and our own intelligence community have determined that, at least for now, the JCPOA… … is the most effective means for it to permanently and verifiably guarantee that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this month that hopes for a nuclear deal have once again stalled as negotiations took a step “backward.” He told reporters at NATO headquarters in Belgium that he was not going to “negotiate anything in public” and that, although both sides had “closed some gaps”, Iran had not yet met the “basic requirements” to the deal. .
At the same time, tensions in Iran have reached a boiling point following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police for alleged violations of hijab (headscarf) rules. in the head). The police denied responsibility for Amini’s death, claiming that she fell into a coma, but her family and her witnesses say they found evidence from her when she arrived at the hospital that she had been beaten.
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Demonstrations that followed Amini’s funeral overnight resulted in the deaths of at least five protesters demanding an end to the morality police.
Price said Amini “should be alive today,” but stressed that the State Department views Iran’s nuclear potential as a primary threat.
“We are doing everything we can not only to support the human rights and aspirations for greater freedom of the Iranian people, but also to hold accountable those within the Iranian establishment who are responsible for … the violence against the Iranian people,” Price said. . “However, when it comes to Iran … there would be no greater challenge to the United States, to our partners and to the broader international system than an Iran with a nuclear weapon.”
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Price argued that any challenges Iran poses would ultimately become more severe if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, citing the country’s support for terrorist groups and proxy militias in the region as examples of threats that could become more severe.
Acknowledging that the deal is not even guaranteed to happen, insisting that the US has been “sincere and firm in… efforts to negotiate a possible return to the JCPOA, but… was also very firm in our fundamental principles,” he said, the US is “unwilling to bend.”
“So far at least, the Iranians have not given a strong indication that they are prepared to make the deals or make the decisions that they should,” Price said. “Were we able to go back to the JCPOA? So it’s a far from certain outcome.”
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Price rejected the idea that any benefits Iran gains from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), such as much-needed funds that would help alleviate the country’s sanctions-instigated economic crisis, would serve as an endorsement of Iran’s policies and actions. Iran. Price stated that the only goal is to ensure that Iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon.
“This would not be about supporting Iran in any way,” Price stressed. “It would be about whether there was a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, satisfying a core national security interest of the United States and a core interest of our partners in the region and around the world, namely preventing Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon.”
However, while the US could use sanctions to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it will not seek to use them to achieve other goals, such as climate, which President Biden and several world leaders have highlighted this week at the UN General Assembly. UN as the number one priority for the planet.
Price said the United States wants other countries to act “cooperatively” to solve the problem, acknowledging that sanctions “are an important tool when it comes to furthering certain foreign policy ends” but that such actions do not extend to the climate.
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“When it comes to climate, what we’re looking for is cooperation … we’re looking for counties to come together and cooperatively discuss how we can work toward these shared climate goals,” he said.