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US promises to stand firm as Iran plays hardball with latest violation of nuclear deal

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.5%. 2 min read.

Newly confirmed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a welcome ceremony at the State Department in Washington,DC on January 27, 2021. (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As Tehran prepares to ban short notice inspections of its nuclear sites in what will be its most egregious violation of the Iran nuclear deal to date, behind the scenes Biden administration officials are making clear they are determined not to succumb to pressure to make imminent concessions or return too quickly to the agreement, a senior administration official and a European diplomat familiar with the ongoing discussions told CNN.

Washington (CNN)As Tehran prepares to ban short notice inspections of its nuclear sites in what will be its most egregious violation of the Iran nuclear deal to date, behind the scenes Biden administration officials are making clear they are determined not to succumb to pressure to make imminent concessions or return too quickly to the agreement, a senior administration official and a European diplomat familiar with the ongoing discussions told CNN.

The official said the Biden administration may send a signal in the coming days that they are prepared to re-enter a serious process with Iran and the members of the JCPOA, but that the details of what that process looks like and how to jumpstart it are still being fleshed out.

"Iran should reverse these steps and refrain from taking others that would impact the IAEA assurances on which not only the United States, not only our allies and partners in the region, but the entire world relies," he said.

"Biden and Blinken cannot give the impression that blackmail works for the US," the European diplomat said, pointing out that the US will need to get something from Iran if they are going to take small steps to deescalate.

As part of the ongoing US discussions with their counterparts they have discussed steps both the US and Iran could take to deescalate the tensions and begin a process towards bringing both sides back into the deal, this diplomat said, but "the challenge is to put together elements of de-escalation. "

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that words are not enough and demanded that the Biden administration take action if they want to revive the nuclear deal.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said Iran must return to full compliance first, but in an NPR interview this week Blinken did not count out direct diplomacy with Tehran down the road.

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