December 4, 2022

US: Iran Nuclear Decisions Will Rest With Khamenei, Despite Leadership Change    | Voice of America

WASHINGTON – U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday downplayed the importance of the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as the new Iranian president, saying that whether the United States ultimately rejoins the international pact to restrain Tehran’s nuclear program will depend on decisions made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Raisi will replace more moderate Hassan Rouhani in six weeks, but Sullivan told ABC News’s “This Week” show that no matter who the Iranian president is, “It is less relevant than whether their entire system is prepared to make verifiable commitments” to abandon the possibility of Iranian development of a nuclear weapon.   

Supporters of Iranian president-elect Ebrahim Raisi celebrate after he won the presidential election in Tehran, Iran, Saturday,…
FILE – Supporters of Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi celebrate after he won the presidential election in Tehran, Iran, June 19, 2021.

Along with five other world powers, the United States is engaged in talks with Iran to rejoin the 2015 international agreement to restrain Tehran’s nuclear program that former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from, saying it was not tough enough. Trump reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran that had been dropped.  

The pact was negotiated under Trump’s immediate predecessor, President Barack Obama, with U.S. President Joe Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, now looking to rejoin the agreement. 

Negotiators for Iran and the other six countries were set Sunday to adjourn the talks to return to their respective capitals for further consultations on difficult remaining considerations. 

Iran delegation chief Abbas Araqchi said, “We are now closer than ever to an agreement but the distance that exists between us and an agreement remains and bridging it is not an easy job,” a position echoed by Sullivan. 

FILE - Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, attends a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria, Sept. 1, 2020.
FILE – Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araqchi, attends a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria, Sept. 1, 2020. (EEAS/Handout via Reuters)

“There is still a fair distance to travel on some of the key issues,” such as sanctions on Iran and the commitments Tehran is willing to make, Sullivan said. 

“But the arrow has been pointed in the right direction,” he said. “We’ll see if Iran will make the hard choices they have to make.” 

“The ultimate decision lies with the supreme leader, whether he follows the path of diplomacy or faces mounting pressure not just from the U.S. but from the international community,” Sullivan said. 

“We believe diplomacy is the best way achieve that,” he said. Sullivan said the U.S. is “clear-eyed and firm” in its effort that “puts their nuclear program in a box.” 

In a separate interview, Sullivan told “Fox News Sunday” that any new agreement could last for a longer time than the original 2030 expiration. 

It is not clear, however, when formal international negotiations might resume. 

 

in U.S.
Related Posts

US Supreme Court Maintains CDC’s Pandemic-related Residential Eviction Ban | Voice of America

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban...

Microsoft Exec Says Targeting of Americans’ Records ‘Routine’ | Voice of America

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – Federal law enforcement agencies secretly seek the data of Microsoft customers thousands of times a year, according to...

Johnson & Johnson Asks High Court to Void $2 Billion Talc Verdict | Voice of America

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

WASHINGTON – Johnson & Johnson is asking for Supreme Court review of a $2 billion verdict in favor of women...

Tree to Table: Cicadas Make for Culinary Adventure at DC Restaurant | Voice of America

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Parts of the United States are being invaded by a mass brood of cicadas that emerges from the ground once...

Trump Organization, Chief Financial Officer Expected to Face Charges  | Voice of America

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

Prosecutors in New York are expected to unseal charges Thursday against former U.S. President Donald Trump’s company and its chief...

Before Miami Building Collapse, $9M+ in Repairs Needed  | Voice of America

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

Owners of units in a Florida oceanfront condo building that collapsed with deadly consequences were just days away from a...

Death Toll Rises to 5 in Florida Building Collapse | Voice of America

June 27, 2021

June 27, 2021

Rescue workers found the body of a fifth person in the rubble of a 12-story condominium that partially collapsed Thursday,...

Takeaways from Biden-Xi Meeting

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON —  U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting Monday. Here are a few...

Big US Companies Pushed to Tally Progress on Racial Justice | Voice of America

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

The killing of George Floyd prompted a wave of promises from corporate America to advance racial equity. Nearly a year...

Biden to Reassure Allies of US Commitment to NATO Mutual Defense Clause | Voice of America

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

BRUSSELS – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is set to discuss revising its strategic concept when its leaders, including...

Biden Says Afghans Now Have to Decide Their Future | Voice of America

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

WHITE HOUSE – “Afghans are going to have to decide their future,” U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday in his...

NCAA Expands Income Opportunities for Student-Athletes | Voice of America

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

U.S. college athletes nationwide are now allowed to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness, the NCAA...

Canadian Snowbirds Head South As US Land Borders Reopen

November 2, 2021

November 2, 2021

PHOENIX —  Canadians Ian and Heather Stewart are savoring the idea of leaving behind this winter’s subzero temperatures when the...

House to Vote on Bill Launching Probe of Capitol Insurrection | Voice of America

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

A new committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol would have 13 members and the power...

Criminal Tax Charges Filed Against Trump Organization, Its Chief Financial Officer | Voice of America

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

Prosecutors in New York on Thursday accused the Trump Organization, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s global real estate business empire,...