BIDEN NIXES TRUMP, SAYS U.S. READY FOR IRAN NUKE TALKS
The Biden administration said it’s ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, in a sharp repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” that sought to isolate the Islamic Republic, Matthew Lee reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The administration also took two steps at the United Nations aimed at restoring policy to what it was before Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018. The combined actions to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Tehran came into full compliance with the deal were immediately criticized by Iran hawks and are likely to draw concern from Israel and Gulf Arab states.
Iran reacted coolly to the idea, put forward by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a video meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany - a group known as the E3 - gathered in Paris.
“If Iran comes back into strict compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA, the United States will do the same and is prepared to engage in discussions with Iran toward that end,” a joint statement from the four nations said, John Irish, Humeyra Pamuk and Arshad Mohammed reported for Reuters.
Iran began breaching the deal in 2019, about a year after former US. President Donald Trump withdrew and reimposed US economic sanctions, and has accelerated its breaches in recent months.
In addition to signaling a willingness to talk with Iran, the administration also reversed Trump’s determination that all UN sanctions against Iran had been restored.
And, it eased stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian diplomats posted to the United Nations.
The State Department announced the moves following discussions between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his British, French and German counterparts, and as Biden prepares to participate, albeit virtually, in his first major international events with world leaders.