Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that Tehran is “absolutely serious” about pursuing indirect negotiations with the US to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is absolutely serious about the negotiations and we are equally serious about our people’s rights to have sanctions lifted,” Raisi said, according to a statement published by his office.
The talks to revive the JCPOA have been stalled since June 20th, around the time Raisi was elected. Raisi’s government reviewed the initial round of negotiations, which were held between June and April, before agreeing to re-enter talks this month.
The US has met Iran’s willingness to return to the negotiating table with skepticism, likely prompting Raisi’s comments. But the fact is, Iran has good reasons to doubt the seriousness of the Biden administration.
The initial rounds of negotiations failed due to the Bidena administration’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions. Tehran agreed to negotiate limited sanctions relief, but the two sides remained far apart on key issues.
A recent report from Responsible Statecraft revealed President Biden wasted an opportunity to move forward on the deal by refusing to guarantee that the US wouldn’t leave the JCPOA again during the remainder of his term.