During his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken said that the Biden administration would seek to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, if Tehran returns to compliance.
President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in May 2018 and slapped harsh sanctions against Iran. In response, Tehran has gradually dropped some of its JCPOA commitments since May 2019.
"The President-elect believes that if Iran comes back into compliance, we would too," with an intention to seek a "longer and stronger agreement," he said.
The incoming secretary of state indicated that the objective of a new agreement with Iran would involve Iran's missile program and its activities in the region while underlining "we're a long way from there."
Blinken voiced his support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, a policy stance that was backed by successive U.S. governments for decades but was largely abandoned by the Trump administration.
Today, it is Iran's turn to boycott the United States���� Senior US officials include Donald Trump,Mike Pompeo, Mark Spear,Christopher Miller,Steven Manuchein, CIA Director Gina Hespel,John Bolton,Brian Hook,will be on the sanctions list of #Iran from today. pic.twitter.com/T73vVRCBSx
"What would be important is to make sure that neither party takes steps that make the already difficult proposition even more challenging," he said.
Blinken questioned the designation of Yemen's Houthi group as a terrorist group, which was announced last week by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to double down the pressure campaign against Iran.
He added that the incoming administration would extend a key arms control treaty with Moscow.
"I think we're going to seek an extension," Blinken said when asked if the Biden administration would extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expiring on Feb. 5.
The treaty stipulates limits to the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and strategic delivery systems by both, and can be extended by a maximum of five years with the consent of the two countries.
Blinken, 58, served as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama. A close aide to Biden for nearly two decades, Blinken was one of Biden's first cabinet picks.