White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said the United States will continue seeking a nuclear deal with Iran as the country faces unrest.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” moderator Margaret Brennan asked Sullivan if Iranian mass protests, which began after a 22-year-old woman died while in the custody of the state’s morality police for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly, changes the U.S.’s calculus in ongoing nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
“We’re talking about diplomacy to prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon,” Sullivan said.
“If we can succeed in that effort, and we are determined to succeed in that effort, the world, America and our allies will be safer,” he continued. “And that will not stop us in any way from pushing back and speaking out on Iran’s brutal repression of its citizens and its women. We can and will do both.”
Sullivan also noted that the United States sanctioned Iran’s morality police and leaders of other government agencies.
“The fact that we are in negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program is in no way impacting our willingness and our vehemence in speaking out about what is happening on the streets of Iran,” he said on CBS.
The Biden administration has attempted in recent months to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, which would limit the country’s ability to make a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief, although it remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached.
Former President Obama entered the United States into the agreement, but former President Trump later withdrew from the deal after making it a campaign promise.
As one sticking point of the negotiations, the Iranians have sought commitments that the United States will not once again pull out of the deal in the near future.