US Says There’s Been ‘Modest Progress’ in Iran Nuclear Deal Talks

Iran senses a new 'realism' from the West

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that there’s been “modest progress” during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations that are ongoing in Vienna in a rare positive comment from the US since the talks restarted at the end of November.

“There was some modest progress in the talks last week,” Price said. “We hope to build on that this week.” Price said the negotiations are focused on sanctions relief and what steps Iran has to take to bring its civilian nuclear program back into the strict limits set by the JCPOA.

Before Tuesday, most US comments on the negotiations have been extremely negative. Biden administration officials have been accusing Iran of not taking the talks seriously and have been warning that there is not much time left to revive the deal.

When the negotiations first restarted, the US demanded that Iran accept a draft agreement that was reached with the previous Iranian government back in June. Iran wanted more sanctions relief and submitted new draft proposals, which is what the negotiations are now based around.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Western powers brought a new “realism” to the talks this week. “We sense a retreat, or rather realism from the Western parties in the Vienna negotiations, that there can be no demands beyond the nuclear accord,” Khatibzadeh said.

What the negotiations boil down to is whether or not President Biden is willing to be reasonable and give Iran the necessary sanctions relief to revive the JCPOA. So far, the Biden administration has taken a hardline approach towards Iran by refusing to lift all Trump-era sanctions, imposing new sanctions amid negotiations, coordinating closely with Israel, and making veiled comments that could be taken as military threats.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.