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US Says Prefers Diplomacy With Iran Over Nuclear Program

The US State Department has reiterated its commitment to focusing on diplomacy over the Iran nuclear program, but has hinted at considering other options if negotiations fail. Spokesperson Vedant Patel stated that the US is preparing for “all possible options and contingencies,” but stressed that diplomacy is the best approach. Iran has previously stated that any agreement on reviving the nuclear deal is dependent on a decision by the US, and has warned that the window of opportunity for a deal will not remain open indefinitely. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by Iran and six other nations including the US, but the US withdrew in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, leading to uncertainty over the future of the agreement. Negotiations resumed in April 2021 in Vienna, with the objective of bringing the US back into the deal and ending its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. However, discussions have been stalled since August 2022 due to Washington’s refusal to lift all anti-Iran sanctions and give adequate reassurances that it will not unilaterally exit the agreement again.

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