Secretary of State Antony Blinken, through his Press Secretary Ned Price, is insisting two things.
One is that the (not so) dearly departed JCPOA
is [sic!] the most effective means by which to permanently and verifiably ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.
This has been shown to be a straight up lie almost since its parameters became public. All the JCPOA did was permit limited inspections—but not of Iranian military facilities where most of the nuclear weapons development and uranium enrichment process were occurring—and the JCPOA had an expiration date, upon which all sanctions would be lifted and all limits on Iran’s nuclear weapons program would expire.
The other is the State Department views Iran’s nuclear potential as an overriding threat. Nevertheless,
We are doing everything we can not only to support the human rights and the aspirations for greater freedom of the Iranian people, but also to hold accountable those within the Iranian system that are responsible for…violence against the Iranian people[.]
When it comes to Iran, though…there would be no greater challenge to the United States, to our partners, and to the broader international system than an Iran with a nuclear weapon.
That last might—might—be a valid priority in a cynical, long-term, Machiavellian sort of perspective. It does the Iranian people who are being imprisoned, or killed, or both today for their protesting against their current condition no good at all, though.
Which raises the question: what, exactly are you doing, Mr SecState, to support the human rights and the aspirations for greater freedom of the Iranian people? Lay it out in concrete, measurable terms—no glittering generalities, not fatuous claims of “everything we can.” What fills out this “everything” of which you speak?