Blinken Admits That Iran Supports Terrorism, But Signals Biden Admin Might Still Kill Trump’s Sanctions
The Secretary of State of President Joe Biden, Anthony Blinken, recently admitted that the despotic Iranian government has sponsored terrorism and financed “extremist movements,” but the new Democratic administration will stick to its game plan of potentially easing sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in order for the US to accept the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “This Week” asked Blinken about the Biden administration’s renewed talks with Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.
“Your administration is continuing to pursue nuclear negotiations with Iran, but 42 Republican senators have called on the president to end the negotiations, making it clear that sanctions will remain in place because of Iranian funding of Hamas. Do you believe that Iran is funding Hamas? And if they are, should the sanctions stay in place?” Stephanopoulos asked Blinken over the weekend.
Despite facts to back such claims, Blinken did not directly answer the question of whether Iran funds the militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and instead deferred to the nuclear agreement.
“You know, George, Iran is engaged in a number of activities, including funding extremist groups, supporting terrorism more broadly, supporting very dangerous proxies that are taking destabilizing actions throughout the Middle East, proliferating weapons,” Blinken admitted.
“Two things on that,” he added, “one, an Iran with a nuclear weapon or with the capability to build one in very short order is going to act with even greater impunity in those areas, which just adds to the urgency of trying to put the nuclear problem back in the box that the nuclear agreement put it in.”
Blinken blames Trump admin, again
Blinken went on to defend the Biden administration’s decision to pursue another round of talks with Tehran — after former President Donald Trump abandoned the deal after Iran failed to adhere to the terms of the deal.
He also pointed at the Trump government, once again, for the falling out of the Iran nuclear agreement.
“Of course, many of these actions are going forward now while the — you know, and have gone forward over the last few years under the so-called maximum pressure being exerted by the — by the previous administration and clearly did not get the result that we all seek, which is to curb all of these activities,” Blinken told Stephanopoulos.
“But the first thing that we need to do is put the nuclear problem back in the box. That’s why we’re committed to trying to see if Iran will come back into compliance with the nuclear agreement, the so-called JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). That’s what we’re engaged in now. And then use that as a platform to build on and to try to deal with these other issues,” he added.
Pressed by the host on whether the statements from the Iranian side saying that the decision to “lift some of the sanctions has already been made” — Blinken deflected the questions once again.
“We have been now over — we’re about to have our, I think, fifth round of discussions in Vienna with the Iranians,” Blinken replied.
“And what these discussions and talks, indirect, as you know, have done is they’ve clarified what each side needs to do in order to come back into compliance. So we know what sanctions would need to be lifted if they’re inconsistent with the nuclear agreement, but as important and indeed more important, Iran, I think, knows what it needs to do to come back into compliance on the nuclear side.”
He continued: “What we haven’t seen is whether Iran is ready and willing to make a decision to do what it has to do. That’s the test and we don’t yet have an answer.”
Trump calls Iran deal “defective at its core”
Then President Trump called the deal “defective at its core” as it pushed the Obama-Biden administration to hand over $1.7 billion to Iran in January 2016 as part of its agreement that time — including a $1.3 billion in cash.
The former Republican chief executive insisted that “Iran lied” about its nuclear weapon ambitions and continued to pursue its nuclear enrichment program even after the deal with the US.
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” then-President Trump said of the deal. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
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