On Thursday, the State Department downplayed expectations for the renewed effort to revive the Iran nuclear deal through indirect talks between Washington and Tehran. Talks in Vienna on Tuesday established working groups that will figure out how the US can return to the JCPOA.
While State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US would characterize the talks as “constructive,” he made it clear the US isn’t in a rush to revive the JCPOA. “We would also, however, hasten to not allow expectations to outpace where we are. After all, we have said this will be hard,” he told reporters.
Price also insisted that it will be “hard” to revive the deal. “It’ll be hard because the subject at hand is very technical; it’s very complex,” he said.
The reality is, the path to the JCPOA is wide open for the Biden administration. The US could at any time lift sanctions that were imposed after 2018, and Iran would return to the limits set by the agreement. But since President Biden is demanding mutual steps, the process could take a while.
Regardless of the US complicating the issue, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seems happy with the progress. On Wednesday, Rouhani said the talks marked a “new chapter” in the efforts to revive the agreement.
“Everyone around the nuclear deal has come to the conclusion that there is no better solution than the JCPOA and no other way but the full implementation of the JCPOA. This is a new success for the Islamic Republic,” Rouhani said.