US more isolated diplomatically than Iran because of Trump

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said that the United States in some ways more isolated diplomatically than Iran because of the course that the previous administration had pursued.

"So let me take those in order. So first, on the timeframe, I would make a couple of points. You’ve heard from us that the runway is short. The runway is very, very short. We are not talking about a protracted period of time that remains. We are talking about potentially weeks, not months," said Ned Price on Thursday in a press conference in response to some questions about the Vienna talks and Iran nuclear program.

"Second, it is impossible for us, at least at this point, to point out a date on the calendar and say that is the deadline. And it is impossible for a simple reason. You’ve heard me say before, this is not a temporal clock that is ticking down. It is a clock that is based on a calendar that is based on technical assessments. And really, what we are looking at here is a very simple equation: When do the nonproliferation benefits afforded by the JCPOA – as finalized in 2015 and implemented in 2016 – when are they overcome by the advancements that Iran has made in its nuclear program since it began to break free from the limits that it previously subscribed to after the last administration left the JCPOA? That is an assessment that will be based on a whole series of inputs, what we can discern publicly and non-publicly regarding those advancements and their implications for things like Iran’s breakout time when it comes to acquiring enough fissile material needed to produce a nuclear weapon if they were to move in that direction," he added.

Ned Price blamed the US previous administration for current problems with Iran over withdrawal from the nuclear deal, saying, "That is that we inherited a situation that none of us would have wished for, a situation in which Iran had been galloping forward in its nuclear program, freed from the nuclear shackles to which it previously subscribed, with proxies that certainly were not cowed but in some ways had become even more brazen and aggressive, with Iran – I should say with the United States in some ways more isolated diplomatically than Iran because of the course that the previous administration had pursued."

"I think if you ask anyone in this administration if we would have preferred to have entered into office on January 20th with Iran’s nuclear program verifiably and permanently constrained and Iran permanently barred from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, the answer would be a resounding yes," he noted. 

He reiterated the claim that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, saying, "Of course, we’re working now, this administration now is working very closely with them, both our European allies and our partners in this context, to see to it if we can arrive once again at a formula by which Iran is permanently and verifiably prevented from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

"This is about permanently and verifiably ensuring that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon," he claimed. 

These claims come while Tehran has repeatedly announced that it has no intention to build nuclear weapons as it has been banned by a religious Fatwa of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei.

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