On Monday, the White House clarified that there has been no change in Iran policy after an interview with President Biden caused some confusion.
In the interview that aired Sunday, President Biden was asked if he would lift sanctions on Iran to bring Tehran to the negotiating table, to which he replied, “no.” The interviewer then asked, “They have to stop enriching uranium first?” Biden responded by nodding his head.
Some took this head nod as a change in policy and thought the US is demanding that Iran stop uranium enrichment altogether, instead of returning to the 3.67 percent agreed to in 2015, when the JCPOA was negotiated. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki cleared up the confusion on Monday.
“I think if we were announcing a major policy change, we would do it in a different way than a slight head nod,” she said. “But, overall, his position has — it remains exactly what it has been, which is that if Iran comes into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA, the United States would do the same.”
Since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Tehran is calling for Biden to act first and lift sanctions to return the US to compliance. Iranian officials have made it clear that they would return to commitments Iran agreed to in 2015 once the US lifted sanctions.