White House Warns Time Running Out to Revive Iran Deal

US officials have said a deal is 'in sight' as talks resumed in Vienna

The White House warned Wednesday that the indirect negotiations with Iran that are ongoing in Vienna have reached an “urgent point” and that an agreement needs to be reached soon to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“Our talks with Iran have reached an urgent point on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. She added that if a deal isn’t reached in the “coming weeks,” Iran’s nuclear advancements would “will make it impossible for us to return to the JCPOA.”

The idea that if Iran advances its civilian nuclear program too far it will render the JCPOA ineffective is a common talking point for Biden officials. But no matter how many advancements are made, Iran can always bring its nuclear program into the strict limits set by the JCPOA.

Despite the warnings from Psaki, she also said that a “deal that addresses the core concerns of all sides is in sight.” Earlier in the week, the State Department also said a deal was “in sight.”

For their part, Iranian officials have said progress hinges on whether or not the US is willing to give Iran the necessary sanctions relief, which has been the issue since the beginning of negotiations. President Biden has maintained a hardline by refusing to lift all Trump-era sanctions.

Iran also wants guarantees from Biden that the US won’t withdraw from the JCPOA again. But since the deal is not a treaty and faces opposition in Congress, future administrations will not be bound by it.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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