White House: U.S. must keep 'eye on the ball' amid nuclear talks with Iran
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan isn't worried that Iran's new president will derail talks between Tehran and other world powers about possibly reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.
During an appearance on ABC News on Sunday, Sullivan was asked if the election of Ebrahim Raisi will affect the chances of reaching a deal. Sullivan responded that no, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, will decide for the country. "He was the same person before this election as he is after the election, so ultimately, it lies with him," Sullivan added.
The negotiations are ongoing in Vienna, and it's believed that Khamenei has approved them because he wants to see sanctions against Iran lifted. Khamenei is seen as a mentor to the ultraconservative Raisi, Iran's former judiciary chief. Yahoo reported.
Sullivan said the most important thing the United States can do with Raisi as Iran's new president is "keep our eye on the ball. And that is - our paramount priority right now is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve that, rather than military conflict. And so, we're going to negotiate in a clear-eyed, firm way with the Iranians to see if we can arrive at an outcome that puts their nuclear program in a box."