Biden Admin. Seeks To Rejoin 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

Joe Biden walks on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Washington. Biden is returning to Washington after visiting Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing site near Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Joe Biden walked on the South Lawn of the White House after stepping off Marine One, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Biden administration announced its plans to open dialogue with Iran regarding America’s return to the 2015 nuclear deal. On Friday, Joe Biden announced the U.S. is looking forward to coming to a diplomatic agreement in order to revive the deal.

President Donald Trump famously withdrew from the deal in 2018, saying it failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles and handed Iran billions of dollars, used to fund terrorism across the Middle East.

However, Biden signaled a willingness to engage with world leaders and Tehran in a bid to return the U.S. to the negotiation table.

“We said we’re prepared to reengage in negotiations with the P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear program,” Biden stated. “We must also address Iran’s destabilizing activities across the Middle East, and we’re going to work in close cooperation with our European and other partners as we proceed.”

Biden’s statement came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with his German, French and British counterparts said on Thursday that the U.S. would be “prepared to engage in discussions.”

WILMINGTON, DE - NOVEMBER 24:  Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken speaks after being introduced by President-elect Joe Biden as he introduces key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. As President-elect Biden waits to receive official national security briefings, he is announcing the names of top members of his national security team to the public. Calls continue for President Trump to concede the election as the transition proceeds. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, DE – NOVEMBER 24:  Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)


The administration has already softened its stance on Iran in comparison with the last administration. Reports have said Biden formally rescinded the effort by President Trump to reimpose UN sanctions on Iran. It further pulled back the restrictions on domestic travel for Iranian officials working at the UN.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. was prepared to attend a meeting of the countries that signed the deal to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program. He noted, while Tehran has already gone beyond what the deal allows in terms of limits on its nuclear program, the steps are “reversible.”

“If Iran resumes its full compliance with the deal, we will do the same. Importantly, as you have also heard us say, that the deal for us, it is a floor. It’s not a ceiling,” Price said. “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.”

Unfortunately, Iran has indicated it will only backtrack on its progress if the U.S. “unconditionally lifts all sanctions,” a point made by the Iranian foreign minister.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made similar comments during a statement on Wednesday.

“We have heard many nice words and promises, which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken,” Khamenei stated. “Words and promises are no good. This time we want only action from the other side and we will also act.”

Iran’s state media have already called the effort a “defeat for America.”

One State Department official warned if the Biden team continues to roll back restrictions with only the hope of starting talks, Iran is “going to eat our lunch” in the negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently praised a phone call he received from Biden, reiterated his government’s longtime stance against the deal hasn’t changed. He noted Israel believes that going back to the old agreement will “pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal".

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