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At Israeli Talks, Blinken Says U.S., Allies 'See Eye To Eye' On Iran Nuclear Issue

March 27, 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has joined his counterparts from Israel and four Persian Gulf countries for talks in Jerusalem expected to center on continuing Iranian nuclear negotiations after assuring U.S. allies that they and Washington "see eye to eye."

Host Israel has publicly opposed the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to grant sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

But the Biden administration continues talks to revive the agreement, which was abandoned by Washington in 2018.

"When it comes to the most important element, we see eye to eye," Blinken told a news conference alongside Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. "We are both committed, both determined that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon."

Tehran has continually insisted its nuclear program is for civilian energy needs, despite accusations by Israeli, U.S., and UN officials that it hid a covert weapons effort in the past.

EU-mediated indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington have continued since being restarted late last year, with key snags tempering suggestions that the sides are on the brink of striking a deal.

A senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Robert Malley on March 27 sparred in separate statements over whether a deal is "imminent."

EU coordinator Enrique Mora is due in Tehran on March 27 for talks to try to bridge outstanding differences over a new agreement.

Based on reporting by AP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/blinken-israel -iran-nuclear/31772749.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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