U.S. has started to talk with Iran about detained Americans, Biden national security advisor says

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks throughout a press briefing on February 4, 2021, within the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated Sunday that the United States has started talking with Iran over detained Americans.

“We have begun to communicate with the Iranians on this issue, yes. And we will continue to do so as we go forward,” Sullivan stated of the 5 identified detained Americans.

“Our strong message to the Iranians will be that we will not accept a long-term proposition where they continue to hold Americans in an unjust and unlawful manner,” he informed CBS on its “Face the Nation” program, including “It will be a significant priority of this administration to get those Americans safely back home.”

When requested for an replace on the nuclear talks between Washington and Tehran, Sullivan stated that “the ball is in their court.”

Sullivan stated that President Joe Biden stays intent on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and believes one of the best ways to do that’s by means of “clear-eyed diplomacy.”

“He’s prepared to go to the table to talk to the Iranians about how we get strict constraints back on their nuclear program. That offer still stands because we believe diplomacy is the best way to do it. Iran has not yet responded,” Sullivan stated.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated following former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark nuclear settlement.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, pauses while talking throughout a information convention in Tehran, Iran, on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, brokered by the Obama administration, lifted sanctions on Iran that had crippled its financial system and reduce its oil exports roughly in half. In alternate for sanctions reduction, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program till the phrases expire in 2025.

The U.S. and its European allies consider Iran has ambitions to develop a nuclear bomb. Tehran has denied that allegation.

Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in 2018, calling it the “worst deal ever.”

Following Washington’s exit from the landmark nuclear deal, different signatories of the pact ⁠— France, Germany, the U.Okay., Russia and China ⁠— tried to preserve the settlement alive. 

Tehran has refused to negotiate whereas U.S. sanctions stay in place.

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