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The Biden administration has not yet seen evidence that Iran will comply with the nuclear commitments needed to lift sanctions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.

Why it matters: A new round of indirect talks with Iranian officials will resume in Vienna in the coming days. President Biden has pledged not to lift sanctions unless the country first stops enriching uranium.

Details: Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, Iran's parliament speaker, said on Sunday that a three-month monitoring agreement with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has expired, meaning inspectors can no longer access images of nuclear sites.

  • Following those remarks, United Nations officials announced they would delay a planned press conference in Vienna by Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, AP reported.
  • Blinken will be traveling throughout the Middle East later this week although the State Department has yet to release his official schedule, Al Jazeera reports.

What he's saying: "I think the steps that Iran is taking underscore the urgency of trying to get Iran back into compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal," Blinken said on CNN. "The deal that stopped their — the dangerous aspects of the nuclear program —the prospect that they could have fissile material for a nuclear weapon on short order."

  • "I think we've actually made progress in clarifying what each side needs to do to get back into full compliance. The outstanding question, the question we don't have an answer to yet, is whether Iran, at the end of the day, is willing to do what is necessary to come back into compliance with this agreement."

Go deeper: U.S. and Iran remain far apart as nuclear talks reach critical stage

Go deeper

Aug 30, 2021 - World

UN watchdog: North Korea has restarted key nuclear reactor

A person watching news footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaking in Pyongyang in January 2021. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea appears to have resumed operations at a key nuclear reactor that is believed to produce fuel for nuclear weapons, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency said in a report dated Friday.

Why it matters: The move suggests North Korea is working to enlarge its nuclear arsenal after denuclearization talks with the U.S. stalled during the Trump administration.

Aug 28, 2021 - World

Israeli PM tells Biden he won't publicly campaign against Iran deal

President Biden greets Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House on Aug. 27. Photo: GPO/ Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told President Biden in their meeting on Friday at the White House that although he is against a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, he isn’t going to publicly campaign against it like his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, two U.S. sources briefed on the meeting told Axios.

Why it matters: Biden and his senior advisers are veterans of the intense confrontations between Netanyahu and former President Obama on Iran.

Aug 29, 2021 - World

American diplomats won't remain behind in Kabul, Blinken says

Image: Screenshot

The United States is "not likely" to have an “on-the-ground diplomatic presence” in Afghanistan after Aug. 31, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on "Meet the Press."

The big picture: "What is going to happen is that our commitment to continue to help people leave Afghanistan who want to leave and who are not out by Sept. 1, that endures,” Blinken told host Chuck Todd.