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Concerns About Iran

(FILE) Iran's Air Force drill in the central part of the country.

According to the U.S. National Security Strategy, the United States will continue to deter and counter Iran’s destabilizing activities.

Concerns About Iran
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“We have a lot of concerns about Iran,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a recent Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

The first is Iran’s nuclear program, which has steadily advanced after the previous U.S. administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Everything the agreement effectively did to stop that has now been lost, and the efforts that we were making to make sure that the breakout time that they would have if they made a decision to produce a nuclear weapon in terms of having the fissile material for such a weapon having pushed that past a year - it’s now down to a matter of weeks.”

During the past two years, the United States and its allies have tried to convince Iran to return to compliance with a modified nuclear deal, but Iran has not agreed.

Another area of concern, Secretary Blinken said, is Iran’s support for groups engaged in “profoundly destabilizing activities” in the Mideast and beyond.

“The drones that Iran has provided to Russia for use in Ukraine are having a real and terrible impact, and it’s a two-way street. We’re now seeing Russia provide Iran with equipment and technology that it can use for the actions that it's taking in the region, so these are deep concerns,” he said.

Secretary Blinken also deplored the repression by the Iranian regime of “the extraordinary protests” led by women and girls.

“We have done a lot of work to try to help people who wanted their voices heard, not only in the sanctions, not only in the spotlighting, but also in work that we’ve done to provide technology to people in Iran to make sure that they could ... stay connected with each other and stay connected to the world,” he said.

Finally, Secretary Blinken noted the Iranian regime’s campaign of repression against critics “halfway around the world,” including in the United States. “We are pushing back resolutely against all of that,” he said.

Secretary Blinken believes that diplomacy remains the best way to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat. But he said, it takes two to engage in diplomacy. Meanwhile, the United States, as the U.S. National Security Strategy lays out, “will continue to work with allies and partners to enhance their capabilities to deter and counter Iran’s destabilizing activities,” and “will always stand with the Iranian people striving for their basic rights and dignity.”