On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he wanted to see “action” from the Biden administration to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“We have heard many nice words and promises which in practice have been broken and opposite actions have been taken,” Khamenei said. Before taking office, President Biden pledged to work with Iran to restore the JCPOA, but so far, his administration has failed to act.
Khamenei restated Iran’s pledge that it would scale back its nuclear activity to the limitations set by the JCPOA if the US returns to compliance with the deal by lifting sanctions. “This time only action. If we see action from the other side, we will also act. The Islamic Republic will not be satisfied with promises of actions,” he said.
The Biden administration’s public stance is that it will only lift sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic reduced the activity of its civilian program to the JCPOA limits. But since the US is the party that violated the agreement, Tehran wants Biden to act first.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif offered a way out of the impasse, suggesting the EU could help coordinate the actions needed by each side to revive the deal. But the US is still deliberating on how to go forward and has yet to engage with Iran diplomatically. Meanwhile, Iran is still under the crippling economic sanctions left in place by the Trump administration.