Blinken issued a warning to Iran this week that time is running out for a return to diplomacy, during a gathering with leaders from Israel and the United Arab Emirates in Washington.
“The runway that we have left to do that is getting shorter and shorter and so we’re watching Iran’s comments, posture, very, very carefully,” Blinken said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also spoke at the gathering of leaders, sending a strong message to Iran’s leaders.
“By saying other options, I think everybody understands, here, in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran, what it is that we mean,” Lapid said.
“Secretary of State Blinken and I are sons of Holocaust survivors. We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil. Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment in any way, it’s not only our right, it’s also our responsibility. Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe us out. We have no intention of letting this happen,” Lapid added.
Iran continues to claim its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes. The nation’s leaders have also call for the US to end sanctions under President Joe Biden.
The meeting took place during a commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords. Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE initially signed the agreement in a White House ceremony. Morocco and Sudan later joined the agreement.
The peace agreements to normalize relations with Israel were the first in more than 20 years, since the peace agreements signed by Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
Biden initially signaled he might be open to negotiation, but no progress has yet been made. Now Blinken has stated the clock is ticking for Iran to show any willingness for diplomacy.
Both Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett agreed during their initial meeting that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon. As Blinken and other leaders throughout the region concluded, it is becoming clear that other options may need to be considered.