US State Department says Iran nuclear deal ‘not our focus now’

US State Department says Iran nuclear deal 'not our focus now'
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The Iran nuclear deal “That’s not our focus right now,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday, adding that the administration is focusing instead on supporting the protesters. Iran Efforts to restore the nuclear deal have hit another impasse.

“The Iranians have made it very clear that this is not a deal they are ready to make, a deal certainly does not seem imminent,” Price said at a department briefing.

“Iran’s claim is unrealistic. They go beyond the scope of the JCPOA,” he said, using the acronym for the agreement’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“What we haven’t heard in recent weeks is that they have changed their position,” Price added.

The spokesman said the administration’s current focus is on “the remarkable bravery and courage that the people of Iran are demonstrating through their peaceful protests, exercising their universal rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.”

“And our focus right now is to shine a spotlight on what they’re doing and support them in any way we can,” Price said.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in late September that he “sees no near-term prospect” of Iran returning to the nuclear deal.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Blinken said that “Iran continues to try to add extraneous issues to the negotiations that we’re just not going to say yes to.”

“We will not accept a bad deal, the response they have given to the last proposals put forward by our European partners has been a very important step backwards,” he said.

A senior State Department official said at the time that “we’ve hit a wall” because of Tehran’s “absurd” claims.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Session, the official said the main sticking point remains in the UN Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation into unexplained traces of uranium found at undisclosed Iranian sites.

“As Iran stands against its people in the streets, it stands in the way of the kind of economic relief the nuclear deal would provide. So I think they have to convince their own people why, on the brink of an agreement, they would choose this issue and jeopardize the possibility of an agreement at this point,” the official said in late September.

Amidst the standoff over the JCPOA, the Biden administration has unveiled several measures aimed at punishing the regime for its crackdown on the Iranian people and trying to support protesters.

In late September, the United States announced sanctions on Iran’s morality police following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in their custody.

In a statement, the US Treasury Department said it was authorizing the ethics police for “torture and violence against Iranian women and violations of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters”.

Shortly thereafter, amid the Iranian government’s shutdown of the Internet in the face of widespread protests over Amini’s death, the U.S. government made a move to help technology companies access information online for the Iranian people.

Last week, the United States imposed additional sanctions on seven senior Iranian officials for blocking official internet access and violence against protesters, targeting Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi, who oversees all law enforcement forces used to quell protests, as well as its communications minister. .

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