President Biden has ordered his administration to prepare “other options” to take if indirect negotiations with Iran to revive the nuclear deal fail, the White House said on Thursday.
“The president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options,” White House Secretary Jen Psaki said. “We will have no choice but to take additional measures.”
The “additional measures” likely include more sanctions and potential military options. Even as the US and Iran are engaged in talks, the US has been ramping up the pressure by imposing new sanctions and planning on tightening existing ones.
The US is also in close coordination with Israel and openly discussing military options with Israeli officials. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington on Thursday and called for “joint military readiness” against Iran.
The Biden administration is blaming Iran for the lack of progress during the nuclear deal talks, which resumed in Vienna on Thursday. But the fact that the US is imposing new sanctions and making veiled threats against Iran amid negotiations signals that the US is not serious about lifting sanctions or returning to the JCPOA.