State: Diplomacy with Iran still an option

State Department spokesperson Ned Price says "the path for diplomacy remains open" with Iran despite reports that the country is threatening to not abide by protocols set under 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. (Feb. 17)

Video Transcript

NED PRICE: Of course we are aware of Iran's threat to cease the provisional application of its additional protocol obligations, as well as other inspections provided for under the 2015 deal, the JCPOA. This, of course, comes on top of other steps Iran has taken that exceed, go beyond, what the JCPOA allows in terms of limits on its nuclear programs.

The good news, of course, is that all of these steps are reversible, and the path for diplomacy remains open. And I would say that we and our partners have underscored Iran should reverse these steps and refrain from taking others that would impact the IAEA assurances on which not only the United States, not only our allies and partners in the region, but the entire world relies.

If Iran resumes its full compliance with the deal, we will do the same. Importantly, as you have also heard us say, the deal for us is a floor. It's not a ceiling. And we want to go beyond the 2015 deal, lengthen and strengthen it, and build on it with follow-on arrangements to address other areas of concern when it comes to our relationship with Iran.

It has not been our intent, nor has it been our strategy, to engage on the challenge of Iran's nuclear program through the context of Yemen. That is not at all how we see it. Again, how we see it is the proposition that the President has put on the table, the shorthand for which is compliance for compliance. That is the context in which we have undertaken consultations with allies, with partners, with members of Congress, in order to see to it that that diplomatic path remains open.