Democrats regularly attacked former President Donald Trump over his decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, arguing that it could lead to war with the Islamic republic.
Yet in a disturbing interview on Sunday with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the Biden administration isn’t ruling out military action against Iran.
IRAN DEAL LATEST: Secretary of State @SecBlinken doesn't rule out military action if Iran "is not prepared to engage quickly in good faith" when it comes to the JCPOA nuclear deal.
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 31, 2021
“The Iranians have now said that they’re coming back to talks toward the end of November – we’ll see if they actually do, that’s going to be important,” Blinken told host Margaret Brennan.
Blinkin: “Every option is on the table”
“We were also looking at, as necessary, other options if Iran is not prepared to engage quickly in good faith,” the secretary of state went on to add.
He explained that the administration’s goal is to begin “where we left off in June when these talks were interrupted by the change in government in Iran, and to see if we can get back to mutual compliance – both countries coming back into the agreement as quickly as possible.”
However, when Brennen asked if this included the possibility of military action, Blinken did not rule it out, stating, “As we always say, every option is on the table.”
He added that “the president got together with Chancellor Merkel of Germany, with the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with the French President Emmanuel Macron, and we are in very close coordination with our closest partners on dealing with this challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program,” the secretary of state said.
“We still believe diplomacy is the best path forward for putting the nuclear program back in the box it had been in under the agreement – the so-called JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action),” he stressed.
Still, Blinken warned that “Iran, unfortunately, is moving forward aggressively with its program,” adding, “The time it would take for it to produce enough fissile material for one nuclear weapon is getting shorter and shorter.”
Gen. Jack Keane: “We’re just going back to the original flawed deal”
“The other thing that’s getting shorter is the runway we have where if we do get back into compliance with the agreement and Iran gets back in compliance, we actually recapture all of the benefits of the agreement,” he caution. “Iran is learning enough, doing enough so that that’s starting to be a problem.”
Those words are unlikely to inspire confidence among Blinkin’s critics. Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane told Fox News that he was skeptical of the Biden administration’s ability to wring concessions from Iran, saying, “It seems like improving the deal is off the table.”
“We’re just going back into the original flawed deal, which the administration obviously admits it has problems with or it wouldn’t be trying to think about improving it.”