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US will not relieve sanctions on Iran before nuclear deal terms are respected

Nominated Secretary of State Antony Blinken(R) participates as US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on 24 November 2020. [CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images]
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Delaware, US on 24 November 2020 [CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asserted that his country will not relieve sanctions imposed on Iran before complying with the terms agreed under the 2015 nuclear deal, news agencies reported on Thursday.

During a hearing before the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Blinken stated: "I think the ball is in their court to see if they're serious about engaging or not."

Blinken shared that the US had accepted the European proposal to mediate talks with Iran, but Tehran said the timing was not right and called first for the removal of sanctions. "We said we would attend," Blinken told the committee. "Iran so far has said no," he added.

Meanwhile, the secretary of state announced: "We have fundamental problems with Iran's actions across a whole series of things, whether it is support for terrorism, whether it is a ballistic missile programme."

He added: "An Iran with a nuclear weapon or with the threshold capacity to have one is an Iran that is likely to act with even greater impunity when it comes to those things."

READ: Iran-backed groups will stop attacks on US targets if Iraq demands full withdrawal, report says

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