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Last Try to Revive Iran Nuclear Deal
Ernest Moniz tells SpyTalk only a new deal can 'put Iran back in the box'
Ernest Moniz, who helped negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, says the current talks in Geneva are "on life support," but that there is a "glimmer of hope" that the negotiations underway in Vienna will succeed.
Moniz made his remarks during an interview on the SpyTalk podcast with co-host Jeanne Meserve. After serving as secretary of energy in the Obama administration, he’s now back at MIT as an emeritus professor of Physics and Engineering Systems. He’s also co-chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank that advocates better controls over nuclear weapons and materials.
The Middle East is "a tinderbox," Moniz told Meserve, and the best way to "put Iran back in the box" is to reinstate the old agreement, or negotiate a new one with strong verification measures and requirements that would require Iran to take irreversible steps like reducing its stockpile of nuclear material.
"We are indeed at a decisive moment," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday at a news conference after meeting British, French and German ministers in Berlin. Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson, warned that, “The runway is very, very short – weeks not months.”
Since President Trump scrapped the JCPOA (Join Comprehensive Plan of Action) in 2018, Moniz says Iran's nuclear capabilities have significantly increased, and that if it chose to it could produce the fissile material for a nuclear bomb within weeks.
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