In Brief: New Iran nuclear deal ‘getting closer’, US spokesperson says

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

The US and Iran are “getting closer” to reaching a new nuclear deal, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week.

Speaking to reporters during a daily press briefing, Psaki dismissed questions around the possibility of US sanctions against Russia hindering the talks in Vienna, saying that both Moscow and Washington had a common goal in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Her comments followed a meeting in Riga between US secretary of state Anthony Blinken and foreign minister Yair Lapid.

During the meeting, Lapid made clear Israel’s concerns about the nuclear negotiations, saying that Israel had well-known differences with the US on the deal, even if they shared the ultimate goal of preventing a nuclear Iran.

“It’s no secret we have our differences on this, but it’s a conversation between allies that have a common goal, which is preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold country, and to stop Iran’s ability to spread terror and instability all around the world”, Lapid said.

Blinken added that the US and Israel are “united and committed to the proposition that Iran must never obtain a nuclear weapon”.

Noting that Israel reserves the right to act militarily against Iran’s nuclear programme, Lapid said that Russia’s attack on Ukraine “is a reminder to Israel. We have friends, we have allies, but our security must always be in our hands only”.