Negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are set to resume on November 29th. Ahead of the talks, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned the US and other Western powers involved against “excessive demands” and said he would work for the best interests of the Islamic Republic.
“We will not walk away from the negotiating table, but we will also oppose any excessive demands that would end up harming the interests of the Iranian people,” Raisi said on Thursday. “We will not retreat in any way when it comes to interests of the Iranian people, but will continue our efforts to neutralize the oppressive sanctions and are taking action to have them lifted.”
During the initial rounds of negotiations that lasted from April to June, Biden refused to lift all Trump-era sanctions. According to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the US also made additional demands, including adding a line to the JCPOA that would commit Iran to further negotiations over other issues, such as ballistic missiles.
A recent report from Responsible Statecraft revealed President Biden rejected a way forward with Iran during the first rounds of talks by refusing to guarantee that the US would stay in the JCPOA during his term in office. In an apparent response to the report, Biden released a joint statement Saturday with the leaders of France, Britain, and Germany that said he is committed to returning the US to “full compliance with the JCPOA and to stay in full compliance” if Iran does the same.
While the statement could be a potential sign of goodwill from Biden, other US officials have responded to Iran’s willingness to return to negotiations with skepticism and threats. The US also slapped new sanctions on Iran last week, calling into question how serious the Biden administration really is about restoring the JCPOA.