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National security adviser says White House has started to communicate with Iran over American hostages

February 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 64.9%. 1 min read.

Nominated National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan participates as US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020. - US President-elect Joe Biden introduced November 24, 2020 a seasoned national security team he said was prepared to resume US leadership of the world after the departure of President Donald Trump. "It's a team that will keep our country and our people safe and secure," Biden said, introducing his picks for secretary of state, national security advisor, intelligence chief, and other key cabinet jobs"It's a team that reflects the fact that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration has begun to communicate with Iran over American hostages in the region, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday, calling the issue a "significant priority" for the White House.

Washington (CNN)The Biden administration has begun to communicate with Iran over American hostages in the region, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday, calling the issue a "significant priority" for the White House.

"We intend to very directly communicate with the Iranians about the complete and utter outrage -- the humanitarian catastrophe that is the unjust, unlawful detention of American citizens in Iran," Sullivan told CBS News.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked with the loved ones of American hostages, a gesture that sent a promising signal, the families said, that the Biden administration will make the release of their loved ones a priority.

Sullivan also said on Sunday that Tehran has not responded to the European Union's proposed meeting to discuss Iran's nuclear program, adding that the ball is in their court.

The Biden administration said last week that the US is willing to sit down for talks with Tehran and other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal.

"The United States would accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran's nuclear program," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

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