US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday tried to soothe the fears of Israel and its Persian Gulf Arab allies ahead of the possible renewal of global powers’ international nuclear deal with Iran.
According Associated Press, Blinken made the comments shortly before joining his counterparts from Israel and four Arab countries at a special gathering where the Iranian nuclear deal was expected to top the agenda.
"When it comes to the most important element, we see eye-to-eye,” Blinken told reporters at a news conference with Israel's foreign minister. "We are both committed, both determined that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon.”
The Biden administration has been working to renew the 2015 nuclear deal, which placed curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. With support from Israel, the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018, causing it to unravel.
Blinken said the US believes that restoring the nuclear deal "is the best way to put Iran's program back in the box it was in.”
He added "Our commitment to the core principle of Iran never acquiring a nuclear weapon is unwavering.”
He also vowed to cooperate with Israel to counter Iran's "aggressive behavior” across the region.
It remains unclear if or when the nuclear deal will be renewed, but there are indications it could be soon despite several last-minute snags, one of which involves Iran's demand for the US to lift its designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a "foreign terrorist organisation.”
Israel is deeply opposed to such a step and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Blinken that he hoped "the United States will hear the concerned voices from the region — Israel’s and others — on this very important issue.”