On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he was preparing to present a “constructive” plan of action related to nuclear negotiations with the US. His comments came after a senior Iranian official said Tehran would be willing to enter talks with the US if Washington provided a “clear signal” that sanctions would be lifted in one year.
Mohsen Rezaei, a former IRGC official who is now the secretary of the Expediency Council that advises the supreme leader, made the comments in an interview with Financial Times that was published earlier on Friday. He said the US “can announce and reassure us that all sanctions imposed after the JCPOA would be lifted in less than one year” to start negotiations.
Zarif appeared to reference Rezaei’s remarks after the interview was published. “Iranian polity is vibrant & officials express diverse opinions,” he wrote on Twitter. “But those opinions should NOT be confused with state policy. As Iran’s FM & chief nuclear negotiator, I will shortly present our constructive concrete plan of action — through proper diplomatic channels.”
Iran recently rejected an offer from the EU to hold talks with the JCPOA participants and the US since the Biden administration has refused to lift sanctions. But European diplomats told several media outlets on Thursday that Iran is now sending “positive signals” that it is open to participate in informal talks.
While Iran is sending signals that it’s willing to talk with the US, the fastest way to revive the deal would be for the Biden administration to lift sanctions on Iran. Until then, by trying to use sanctions as leverage for talks with Tehran, President Biden is pursuing the same policy as his predecessor.