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WH Says US Communicating With Iran over Detained Americans

WH Says US Communicating With Iran over Detained Americans
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By Staff, Agencies

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday the United States had begun to communicate with Iran over the country's detention of American citizens.

Iran has arrested dozens of dual nationals, including several Americans, in recent years, mostly on espionage charges.

Sullivan told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that it was a "significant priority" of President Joe Biden's administration to get those Americans "safely back home."

"We have begun to communicate with the Iranians on this issue," Sullivan said when asked if the administration had started hostage negotiations with Iran.

The United States said last week it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to a 2015 accord abandoned by the Trump administration.

"Iran has not yet responded," Sullivan said.

The two countries have been at odds over who should take the first step to revive the deal. Iran's Foreign Ministry reiterated earlier on Sunday that the United States will not be able to rejoin the nuclear pact before it lifts sanctions.

Sullivan also told CBS that the United States will respond to the SolarWinds hack that hit several government agencies last year in "weeks, not months," as the United States investigates the suspected Russian cyberattack.

He said the response will include a mix of tools seen and unseen, and it will not simply consist of sanctions.

"We will ensure that Russia understands where the United States draws the line on this kind of activity," Sullivan said.

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