Dr Mike Evans

US looking at other options as Iran nuclear talks increasingly look uncertain

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the nation is considering other options if negotiations fail in the attempt to restart the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

The US and other nations involved in the 2015 agreement met this month with hopes to renew the deal by late January or February. Now Blinken is beginning to signal the anticipated announcement may be unraveling after a year of efforts by the Biden administration.

The nations involved in the previous agreement — France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany — have maintained interest in renewing the agreement. However, the June election of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi led to an escalation in threatening rhetoric and policies that have thwarted progress.

Some of the most concerning actions against the US were attacks on American troops in Iraq surrounding the two-year anniversary of the US drone execution of Iran’s notorious terrorist leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. A series of armed drone attacks continued to target American soldiers in Iraq, with the latest rocket attack reported today.

In addition, Raisi gave an impassioned speech demanding “justice” against former president Donald Trump and others in government at the time of Soleimani’s assassination.

This week, the website of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei released a video that portrayed a simulated attack by the Iranian military assassinating Trump at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, along with former secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

The growing escalation of Iranian physical and propaganda attacks against Americans demonstrates that Iran’s leaders are not reaching out in good faith toward a renewal of the nuclear agreement. Earlier in January, Israel again asserted its ability to respond to Iran’s threats independently, regarding of any agreement.

As reports grow of impasse in the talks, Blinken’s latest words point toward other alternatives rather than the current nuclear agreement as the next step in the Biden administration’s efforts to deal with Iran.