According to a report from Reuters, the Biden administration is considering an option for its Iran policy that would require both the US and Iran to take small steps towards the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Citing three sources “familiar with the matter,” the Reuters story says this option would mean Tehran scaling back or pausing some of its nuclear activity while the US gives some sanctions relief. These small steps would be short of full compliance and are intended to buy more time.
As it stands, the US and Iran are far from reviving the JCPOA. Iran is calling on the Biden administration to lift sanctions to come back into compliance with the agreement since the US was the party that violated the JCPOA. In an interview that aired Sunday, President Biden said he would not lift sanctions until Iran reduces nuclear activity to comply with the limits agreed to in 2015.
If the US doesn’t give Iran sanctions relief by February 21st, Tehran will limit some UN inspections of its nuclear program. The US could be looking to avoid this by buying more time with some economic relief. One source told Reuters that an IMF loan was a possibility being discussed.
Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggested that the EU could help coordinate the actions needed to be taken by the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA. The US initially rejected the idea, but some reports say the Biden administration is also considering this option.