WASHINGTON, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the US is “appalled” by Iran’s execution of Iranian-British dual national Alireza Akbari.
“We were appalled by the execution of Mr. Akbari, just as we’ve been appalled by everything we’ve been seeing on the streets of Iran over the last months since these protests began,” Blinken told reporters during a joint press conference with his British counterpart James Cleverly.
He added, “These abuses will not go without consequence. Together with many other countries, we’ve been moving forward with a variety of unilateral actions, multilateral measures, using UN mechanisms to try to hold Iran to account.” Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Blinken said, “The Iranians killed the opportunity to come back to that agreement swiftly many months ago.” “There was an opportunity on the table that they rejected, an opportunity that was approved by all who were involved… so the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) has not been on the agenda as a practical matter for many months now. It’s not our focus,” he added. “The JCPOA right now is not on the table.” He continued, “What is… very much in our focus is President (Joe) Biden’s commitment that Iran never acquire a nuclear weapon.” He reiterated, “We continue to believe that the most effective way to do that is through diplomacy.” For his part, Cleverly said, “The regime has committed a cowardly and shameful act” by executing Akbari.
He added that the execution of Akbari was “a politically motivated act and we acted swiftly to sanction the people involved with it.” “We will continue to act in response to their behaviors,” he noted but declined to “speculate” about what further measures his country might take. Furthermore, he stressed, “Another threat to the international peace and security comes from Iran’s nuclear program, which has never been more advanced.” He affirmed, “The US and the UK are determined that Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency