Antony Blinken said Sunday that the U.S. would not rule out military action against Iran if they don’t return to the table next month to continue discussions to stop them from developing a nuclear weapons.

‘The Iranians have now said that they’re coming back to talks toward the end of November – we’ll see if they actually do, that’s going to be important,’ the Secretary of State chuckled when speaking to CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan.

Blinken stated that diplomacy was the best way forward, but the administration is also exploring other options.

Blinken stated, ‘We were also exploring, as necessary, other options in case Iran is not willing to engage quickly and in good faith.’ ‘To pick up where we left off in June when these talks were interrupted by the change in government in Iran, and to see if we can get back to mutual compliance – both countries coming back into the agreement as quickly as possible.’

Brennan asked if these options would include military action. Blinken replied: “As we always state, every option is on offer.”

Blinken will be visiting Rome this weekend with Joe Biden for the G20 summit, and will be meeting with his counterparts while the president does the exact same.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Iranians are expected to return to negotiations over the nuclear deal in November

Antony Blinken Secretary of State said Sunday that the Iranians will likely return to negotiations in November over the nuclear deal

‘Here in Rome the president got together Chancellor Merkel of Germany with the U.K. Premier Minister Boris Johnson and the French President Emmanuel Macron. And we are in very tight coordination with our closest allies on dealing with this threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program,” Blinken reported on Sunday. “And all of us also work with Russia and China.”

He added: ‘We still believe diplomacy is the best path forward for putting the nuclear program back in the box it had been in under the agreement – the so-called JCPOA.’

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal or the JCPOA, is an agreement between Iran and the P5+ countries – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and Germany – as well as the European Union.

The agreement was signed in Vienna by President Barack Obama on July 14, 2015.

Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018. In November 2018, sanctions were reimposed against Iran, allowing the country to resume ballistic missile development.

Blinken stated that Iran is moving forward aggressively with their program. ‘Iran is reducing the time it takes to produce enough nuclear material for one weapon.

“The other thing is that the runway we have is getting shorter. If Iran comes back into compliance with the agreement, then we can actually reclaim all of the benefits.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of their meeting on Iran

Before their meeting on Iran, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Joe Biden, the U.S. President.

“Iran is learning enough, doing enough to make it a problem.”

Over the weekend, an Air Force Bomber accompanied by fighter jets from U.S. Allies flew over key waterways of the Middle East where American naval vessels and Iranian ones have clashed.

Saturday’s statement by U.S. Central Command (Centcom), announced that a B-1B Lancer flew over the Gulf, Bab al-Mandeb Strait and Suez Canal. It flew over the Strait of Hormuz which is a chokepoint for about a fifth of the world’s oil output at the Gulf’s head, an area Iran considers a strategic zone of influence.

Centcom stated, “The bomber taskforce mission was intended to convey a clear message that reassurance was being given.”

The bomber was escorted by fighter jets from Israel and Saudi Arabia, all allies of the United States opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

‘Military readiness for any contingency or mission – from crisis response to multilateral exercises to one-day presence patrols like this – depend on reliable partnerships,’ said Centcom commander General Frank McKenzie, the head of US forces in the Middle East. 

Biden met with Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, and Emmanuel Macron, the French President, and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor to discuss Iran during Saturday’s first day of G20 in Italy.

The president was asked when the nuclear talks with Tehran were to resume.

He stated that “They’re scheduled for resume,” without naming a date.

White House staff said that the Saturday afternoon meeting was a way to bring the leaders together about the Iran nuclear deal.

In a joint statement, the leaders stated that they share a ‘grave & growing concern’ about Iran’s alleged plans to develop or acquire nuclear weapons.

Leaders expressed hope that a negotiated solution could be found to bring Iran and the U.S. back to full compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump had pulled out of.

The leaders said that President Biden had clearly stated his commitment to return the U.S. in full compliance to the JCPOA. They also vowed to continue to do so until Iran does the same.