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US: Biden willing to return to Iran nuclear deal

December 3, 2020 at 10:16 am

President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Chase Center on 7 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware [Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]

United States President-elect Joe Biden said he is willing to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, stressing that re-joining the deal is the best way to avoid a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

In an interview with the New York Times published yesterday, Biden said without a nuclear agreement with Iran, “we may be facing a situation in which Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and other countries in the region seek to develop nuclear weapons”.

Asked whether he is ready to return to the nuclear deal, Biden said: “It will not be easy, but yes”, adding that “the future administration intends, in cooperation with allies and partners, to participate in negotiations and to develop additional agreements that will strengthen and expand the restrictions imposed on the Iranian nuclear program, as well as on Tehran’s missile program.”

Biden stressed that “building nuclear capabilities in this part of the world is the last thing we want.”

The President-elect pledged during his election campaign that he would rejoin the agreement during his term.

In 2015, Iran and the world powers signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, in return for lifting sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

However, in 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and reimposed sanctions previously lifted under the deal.

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