Iran and the remaining nuclear deal participants will hold talks on Friday to discuss a possible US return to the agreement. The EU announced on Thursday that officials from Iran, Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany will be meeting virtually.
“Participants will discuss the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA, and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” the EU statement said.
The Biden administration welcomed the news. “We obviously welcome this as a positive step and that’s precisely because we have been clear for weeks now that we are ready to pursue a return to compliance with our commitments consistent with Iran also doing the same,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
While the Biden administration has changed its tone in recent weeks and is now calling for talks with Iran and a “mutual return,” it scuttled early opportunities to revive the JCPOA and dismissed Iran’s initial offer to coordinate on a return.
Showing Iran’s growing frustration with the US, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that he’d seen “no serious efforts” from the Biden administration to revive the deal.
The fact is, President Biden could revive the JCPOA at any time by lifting sanctions on Iran that have been reimposed since 2018. Even the most hardline elements in Iran have been clear that relief from sanctions means Iran will scale back its civilian nuclear program to comply with the limits set by the JCPOA.