Priority for US is dealing with Iran moving closer to nuclear weapon: Official

A “critical” early priority for the Biden administration is to deal with Iran getting closer to a nuclear weapon, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Friday.

“A critical early priority [for the administration] is to deal with the escalating nuclear crisis [as Iran] moves closer and closer” to getting a nuclear weapon, Sullivan said during a webinar with the United States Institute of Peace.

In a slight jab at the Trump administration for withdrawing from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Sullivan claimed that Iran was “significantly” closer to manufacturing a nuclear weapon than under the Obama administration.

Sullivan also touched on Iran’s ballistic missile capability, which “has advanced, and advanced under the Obama administration.” But he said this had “now accelerated” under former President Donald Trump.

Direct attacks on US partners in the region, as well as Tehran’s support for proxies, has become “more audacious,” Sullivan said.

“Our view is that if we can get back into diplomacy to put Iran’s nuclear program back into a box,” it will put Washington in a position to address the ballistic missile program.

“We have to address Iran’s other malign behavior in the region,” Sullivan said.

Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was necessary to include regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, in any future nuclear talks.

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