- The United States is ready to lift sanctions against Iran “inconsistent” with the 2015 nuclear deal.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not offer details on what sanctions could be lifted.
- The United States and Iran are involved in indirect talks in Vienna as part of an effort to revive the agreement.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The State Department said Wednesday that the United States is willing to lift sanctions against Iran that are “inconsistent” with the 2015 nuclear deal.
“We are ready to take the necessary steps to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions inconsistent with the JCPOA. I am unable to provide you with chapters and verses on what they may be, “State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters per. Reuters. Prince used the acronym for the formal name of the 201
The White House did not comment and was expelled by the State Department when contacted by Insider.
Price’s comments came as US and Iranian officials engage in indirect talks in Vienna – communicating through European mediators – as part of an effort to revive the nuclear pact.
In Vienna, the United States and Iran agreed to set up working groups with the aim of bringing both parties back in line with the agreement in a synchronized way. This agreement was considered by experts as a sign of progress in restoring the agreement, albeit step by step.
“This is an important positive step, but it will not be easy to get back to JCPOA,” Ilan Goldenberg, Middle East security director at the Center for New American Security in Washington, DC, said on the news via Twitter. “It will take time and tough negotiations, and it would be better if the United States and Iran can speak directly. But still. Important progress.”
“Good news,” tweeted Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders, in response to the development.
The 2015 nuclear deal was designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in return for easing economic sanctions. Critics of the deal said it did not go far enough to prevent Tehran from becoming a nuclear power, and also claimed the pact was weak in tackling Iran’s regional behavior and missile program.
Then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and reintroduced sanctions against Iran, triggering a series of events that raised tensions between Washington and Tehran to historic heights – triggering fears of a new war in the Middle East. The Trump administration tried unsuccessfully to pressure Iran to negotiate a stricter version of the 2015 deal through tough economic sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
Before Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran’s outbreak time for a nuclear weapon was approx. a year, but U.S. officials now say it’s closer to a few months. Iran remained in line with the pact for almost a year after the US withdrew, but gradually took steps away from the deal before effectively abandoning it completely after Trump ordered a drone strike that killed the country’s supreme general, Qassem Soleimani, in January 2020.
President Joe Biden on the campaign trail promised to revive the deal. But Iran has insisted it would not return to compliance until the United States lifts sanctions. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has insisted that Iran prove its compliance with the pact before the United States moves forward with sanctions relief. The Vienna talks are the first material effort in the Biden era to break the dead end.