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Friday, May 14, 2021

Briton held in Iran ‘completely shut off’ after losing phone access

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden said Friday it was imperative that the United States work with other leading global powers to curb Iran’s “destabilizing” nuclear ambitions.

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Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Biden said his administration was “prepared to re-engage in negotiations” with the UN Security Council on Tehran’s nuclear program.

“We must address Iran’s destabilizing activities across the Middle East,” Biden said. “We will work with our European and other partners as we proceed.”

Shortly afterwards, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday that the US has no plan to withdraw so-called “snapback” sanctions against Iran in anticipation of joining talks with Europe on the Iranian nuclear program.


Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as US President Joe Biden flew to Michigan, Psaki said “there is no plan to take additional steps” on Iran in advance of having a “diplomatic conversation.”

The Biden administration announced Thursday its desire to reengage Iran, and it took action at the United Nations aimed at restoring policy to what it was before President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018.

The president also told the Munich conference his administration was fully committed to NATO and its principle that an attack on one member of the transatlantic alliance is an attack on all.

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“The United States is fully committed to our NATO alliance, and I welcome your investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defenses,” Biden said.

“An attack on one is an attack on all. That is our unshakeable vow.”

Biden also addressed economic and national security challenges posed by Russia and China, as well as the two-decade war in Afghanistan, where he faces a May 1 deadline to remove the remaining 2,500 US troops under a Trump administration negotiated peace agreement with the Taliban.

* With AP, AFP and Reuters

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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