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PublishDate: Wednesday, May 26, 2021 16:20

Blinken Says US Consulting With Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talks

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised on Tuesday continued close consultation with Israel about any potential US return to a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_After talks with Blinken in Jerusalem, Prime Minister said he hoped Washington would not sign back on to the deal, and that "whatever happens, will always retain the right to defend itself" against any Iranian nuclear threat.

Indirect talks between and Tehran, which denies its nuclear programme is aimed at producing weapons, have been under way in Vienna.

Blinken, on a Middle East mission to try to shore up last week's ceasefire between Israel and 's_Hamas_rulers, said the United States would continue to strengthen its "long-standing partnership" with Israel.   

That, he told reporters, with Netanyahu at his side, "includes consulting closely with Israel as we did today on the ongoing negotiations in Vienna around a potential return to the Iran nuclear agreement".

To Israeli acclaim, US President Joe 's predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal, deeming it too advantageous for Tehran, and reimposed US sanctions.

The Biden administration has since sought to assuage Israel which sees a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat.

On Sunday, Blinken said the United States has not seen yet whether Iran will move to comply with its nuclear commitments in order to have sanctions removed even as the talks have shown progress.   

Israeli teams have held discussions in Washington with US counterparts over the potential revival of the deal.

“I hope that the United States will not go back to the old JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) because we believe that deal paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said.

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