Joe Biden’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, said during Senate confirmation hearings on Tuesday that the incoming administration is a “long ways” from reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Haines said that Biden “has indicated that if Iran were to come back into compliance, that he would direct that we do so as well. And I think, frankly, that we are a long ways from that.”
The Iranians have gradually violated their commitments under the JCPOA since 2019, one year after the Trump administration withdrew from the accord and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.
Biden has said he would lift sanctions on Iran if Tehran returns to compliance, and Iranian officials have made it clear they will be ready to do so in exchange for sanctions relief. But Haines’ comments suggest the Biden administration will not be rushing to revive the JCPOA.
One obstacle for Biden’s return to diplomacy with Iran will be Israel, and Israeli officials are not shy about their opposition to the revival of the JCPOA. Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said during his Senate hearings that the administration plans to consult with Israel and Arab allies, who also oppose the JCPOA, before returning to the deal.